Mumbai :The Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) on Wednesday dismissed Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh's criticism that the boxing trials for the upcoming Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games at Patiala were not done in a proper manner, insisting they were transparent.
"The trials were held in a transparent manner. The scores were not shown when the bouts were on in order not to influence the results. All the bouts were videographed and shown to the seven-member selection committee and coaches," said IBF secretary-general Colonel Muralidhar Raja at a media conference here on Wednesday.
"I am not happy with the way trials were done. International referees and judges were brought and it seemed like a tournament but what is the point of doing all this when the boxers are not even told their scores," Vijender had said yesterday after announcement of the squads for the October 3-14 CWG in Delhi and the November 12-27 Asiad in Guangzhou.
Vijender said among those who were not picked despite a fine show in the trials include his cousin Balwinder Beniwal (64kg), a youth Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, and reigning national champion Sunil Kumar (49kg), who also happens to be a former Commonwealth champion.
"They fought well but I don't know for what reason they were ignored. The trials were held behind closed doors and nobody knew how the scoring went because nobody told us. The scores were not declared, none of the competing boxers were told which one of them won. It was very disappointing," he said.
"Some deserving names have been left out. Sunil, Balwinder and some other boys deserved to get a look in but were ignored," Vijender had said.
Interestingly the star boxer and India's first-ever medallist in the ring at the Olympic Games was present when the IBF official gave his explanation.
"I have explained it to the all the boxers. The boxers' coach has a tunnel vision when he sits on ring side and sees only his own boxer's punches land," Col. Raja said.
Raja also said that for the first time a full three-day trial was held from August 26-28 and a German coach, who was present, was impressed with the country's bench strength in various weight categories.
"In most other countries there is not more than one claimant for each weight class, but we have 3-4 for each category and of the same standard and selection becomes a bit difficult," he said.
The IBF official was here in connection with the announcement of the "Monet Fight Night" - a two-day, two-venue bilateral boxing contest between India and England figuring four boxers each.
Col. Raja said the India-England contest, to be held at Hyderabad on September 12 and Pune on September 14 would provide boxers of both countries a good tuning up for next month's Commonwealth Games.
"The bouts would be fought as per AIBA (International Amateur Boxing Association) rules with three rounds of three minutes each and the Indian coaching staff would be in attendance to watch the bouts," he said.
While the Indian squad comprises Vijender, Dinesh Kumar, Dilbagh Singh and Diwakar Prasad, England would be represented by world junior light heavyweight bronze medal winner Daniel Price, Martin Stead, Liam Cameron and Hosea Burton.
In case of a 2-2, the organisers were to devise a method to break it, said Col. Raja, adding "it would not be a draw".
The winning boxer would get USD 1,500 and the loser USD 1,000, he added.
Col. Raja was optimistic about the Indian boxing contingent's chances in the CWG and said they would excel their 2006 Melbourne CWG medal haul.
"We are hoping to better our performance in Melbourne where we bagged one gold, two silver and two bronze medals," he said.
Monnet Ispat Group's MD Sandeep Jijodia said that the steel makers are eager to start a boxing academy.
"We will have an academy for boxing at some period of time," he said.