Professional Boxing would be a game-changer, feels Akhil Kumar

Olympian boxer Akhil Kumar feels that the AIBA Professional Boxing starting next year would change the face of the sport globally.

Last updated on Sunday, 14 October, 2012 14:49 IST
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Lucknow: Olympian boxer Akhil Kumar feels that the AIBA Professional Boxing starting next year would change the face of the sport globally.

Akhil, who is currently training at the Haryana Police Academy, told PTI over phone that APB -- expected to start in March-April probably next year -- would give a new direction to game.

"The APB competition format offers multi-level fight opportunities in national, continental and world level competitions while maintaining the opportunity to compete in the Olympic games," he said.

The Olympian said the new model operates on a clear ranking system for boxers.

"Critically, boxers can remain under AIBA throughout their entire career from their fledgling fights to the peak of their profession and beyond. APB will pack a punch and give the sport what it has been waiting for," he said.

He said the launch of APB would change the way professional boxing events are organised.

"APB will open up new horizons for boxers seeking to pursue their dreams as professionals within a transparent competition structure. For the first time, professional boxers can plan and look forward to consistent support from their national federations in return," he said.

"Also the young boxers can realise their dream of entering a professional boxing world that is structured and regulated," he added.

Akhil said in professional competitions, tournaments are not organised under a transparent structure.

"Unfortunately, financial gain and match-fixing often triumph over sporting merit. Within this system, boxers are not guaranteed a steady career trajectory. They cannot move through the rankings on merit and fights are not always matched fairly," the Arjuna Awardee said.

He said in the current system it was not only boxers who suffered, fans too were disappointed by the quality of professional boxing events in terms of performances and non-transparent judgements of fights.

"These situations are discouraging the next generation of boxers. If this stays, the status of boxing will start to decline, holding less appeal for the mainstream media and entertainment channels," he said.

"...there are chances that after the initiation of the APB the upper age limit may extend to 40 years from the current 34. So, APB is good news for me because if the age limits extends then my dream to participate in the 2016 Olympics can be fulfilled," the 31-year-old said.

Undergoing a rehabilitation programme Akhil said his main target was 2014 Commonwealth and Asian Games in the same year.

Story first published on: Sunday, 14 October 2012 14:47 IST

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