City of Nawabs Embraces Pro-Boxing With Matchless Enthusiasm
The City of Nawabs had its first encounter with professional boxing as the local pugilists hosted Russian boxers in the illuminated TT Stadium during the Pro-Boxing Night on Tuesday.
Image credit: Pankaj Jain.
Bhopal: The City of Nawabs had its first encounter with professional boxing as the local pugilists hosted Russian boxers in the illuminated TT Stadium during the Pro-Boxing Night on Tuesday.
Pro-boxing doesn’t have as much fan-following as the game of cricket, football or hockey, but it was delightful to see hundreds of people from all age groups gather at the venue to witness the high-intensity action.
India’s charge was led by Purnima Rajput who had even featured in Bollywood movie ‘Saaa Khadus’, while the Russian team comprised European champion Abdur Rahmano Radmir. All five of the Indian boxers went pro for the first time.
The Russian team included Alexandar Kotov (superlight), Dimitry Khaseiv (light), Misiura Oleg (cruiseweight), Radmir and Panian Gaiane (light flyweight).
The local pugilists — no match to their ‘muscular’ Russian counterparts — did not disappoint the audience as they won the Pro-Boxing Night 3-2. Local boxers, trained at the MP Boxing Academy put up a spirited show. While Manish Uike, Shankar Thapa and Purnima Rajput won their matches, Amit Mishra and Rahul Pasi lost.
There was no dearth of sporting spirit as the crowd cheered Russian boxers even as they rained blows on their Indian counterparts. But the pitch definitely got higher when the local players connected punches.
The biggest cheer was brought up in the stadium as lone girl boxer Purnima Rajput took on Russian girl Panian Gaiane. Purnima, daughter of a home guard who had even abandoned studies due to financial constraints, matched well groomed Panian and even won the fight generating wild roar from the crowd.
President (MP-CG), Pro-Boxing Society, Rajeev Singh was overwhelmed with the crowd turnout for the inaugural event and hoped that pro-boxing would go places in a state like Madhya Pradesh.
Elated with the successful hosting of the event, MP Boxing Academy chief coach Roshan Lal told News18 that it aimed at promoting the game of boxing as people hardly know anything about the sport.
“It was heartening to see such a turnout,” he said, adding that winners walked away with Rs 1.5 lakh each while those defeated also pocketed Rs 1 lakh.
On lack of stamina among Indian boxers, Lal explained that his amateur boxers are used to fighting three rounds each and their bodies took a beating when they were put in matches of six rounds.
“They will be groomed accordingly for future encounters,” he said.
Interestingly Lal has changed the face of boxing in MP by grooming over 200 budding young boys and girls who have brought laurels at national and international level.
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