Recently, India has earned the right to host the Asian Boxing Championships. Athletes competing at the event would have a fair shot at the Olympics, which are now due to take place in July 2021. With pride on the line, has the coronavirus affected several athlete’s plans to be the best that they can be?
The Boxing Federation of India is looking to be ahead of the curve when it comes to returning to action. BFI Secretary General Jay Kowli believes that events can resume by the second week of May.
“We can’t sit idle. The discussions are on. We have to plan for the future,” Kowli stated to Olympic Channel. “There’s nothing that we can confirm now. It will depend on how the lockdown progresses. We can take a call only once the central government has decided on the lockdown situation post-May 3.”
Big shoutout for our boxers and fans!!! During the "E-Patshala" review meeting, #BFI President @AjaySingh_SG announced the news of India🇮🇳 being granted the hosting rights of 2020 Asian Boxing Championships (Men & Women) at the end of the year.👏@KirenRijiju pic.twitter.com/fjiKjF1JJC
— Boxing Federation (@BFI_official) April 13, 2020
Last year’s Asian Boxing Championships took place in late April. Due to the lack of facilities as a result of the pandemic, boxers in India have been looking for other ways to train. The National Institute of Sports will have to continue to be empty for a little bit longer. An alternative could be the National Boxing Academy.
Depending on the current situation in the country, results could come right away. Right now, there are over 34,780 cases of the virus in India according to John Hopkins University. Cases have calmed in certain areas more than others. Karnataka has ended up becoming a fairly reasonable area that could end up being a destination for fighters.
“We are discussing the venues as well,” Kowli went on to say. “Apart from the usual venues, Rohtak has the National Boxing Academy, a state-of-the-art facility. We are considering that as well. However, it’s not the facilities at these places that we have to consider, but also the prevailing situation on the ground.”
Some of the top boxers from India include Vijender Singh (12-0) and Amit Panghal, a two-time gold medalist. Panghal is also a silver medalist in the 2019 World Championships. He has since stated that the federation is working on figuring everything out.
The Asian Boxing Championships have normally become the last stop towards the Olympics. If everything goes according to plan, a revival of boxing could very well start in India.