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Bangladesh Look Up to Friendly Neighbour India for Boxing Inspiration

Bangladesh is one of the eight nations making its debut appearance in the Women’s World Boxing Championships.

Arjit Dabas | News18 Sports

Updated:November 16, 2018, 8:53 AM IST
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Bangladesh Look Up to Friendly Neighbour India for Boxing Inspiration
Bangladesh is one of the eight nations making its debut appearance in the Women’s World Boxing Championships.
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Bangladesh is one of the eight nations making its debut appearance in the Women’s World Boxing Championships. Not the most popular sport in the country, boxing does hold a special place in the nation’s sporting history as it got the country its first international medal when Abdul Halim won a bronze medal in the Asian Boxing Championship.

But according to team head coach Syed Mohauddin, a tournament as prestigious as the World Championships is a big step forward and can be a catalyst in the development of the sport in the country.

Talking exclusively to News18, the 60-year-old feels India can play a big role in developing the sport in Bangladesh.

“India is our neighbor and a friendly state, they offered us a chance to take part in these championships and I am thankful for that, it’s a big step for us, I am also grateful to AIBA for allowing us to participate, ” says Mohauddin.

In fact, Mohauddin himself completed a stage two course on boxing in Haryana and also has a diploma in boxing from NIS Patiala.

“It has been a very nice experience for me, seeing such big names train around me has helped me learn a lot,” says 20-year-old Islam Anika, who had the honour of being the first Bangladeshi woman to participate in the World Championships, though her debut ended in a loss to Kazakhstan’s Nazym Ichshanova.

The boxers in the country still depend on the army, navy, air force, police and other services for a sustained livelihood.

The boxing stadium in Dhaka, was inaugurated and is named after the legendary Mohammad Ali.

“Facilities and infrastructure is not the best but we are catching up slowly, we are trying to get access to latest equipment and also sending our boxers abroad for training. We want them to come to India on short term, medium term and long term basis to train,” says Mohauddin.

The sporting scene in the country has undergone a sea of change in recent times and same is the case with boxing.

“Government stability is a key reason why sport is flourishing now, there is no political crisis and government is running smoothly. That has helped invest in sports,” feels Mohauddin.

Bangladesh’s brightest prospect in the Championships is 22-year-old Akter Shamima, who also won a bronze medal in the South Asian games, after losing to Mary Kom in the semi-final. Farjana Farjana is the third boxer participating in the event from the country.
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