New Delhi:Twice denied promotion despite sterling international performances, Olympian boxer Akhil Kumar may get third time lucky with his employers Railways saying that the procedure to get him upgraded has been initiated.
Currently a Grade-II employee with the Railways, Akhil has been offered the DSP's post by his home state Haryana but the Commonwealth Games gold medallist is keen to stay with the Railways Sports Promotion Board.
RSPB, on its part, also wants to retain him and says that the file requesting for Akhil's promotion to the Assistant Commercial Manager's post has been forwarded to the ministry even though it refused to give a time-frame on when the boxer would eventually be promoted.
"Akhil is a valued sportsperson and there is no denying that he has done very well internationally. We too are trying our level best to ensure that he gets a promotion because it would give a boost to sports in the country," RSPB secretary Rakesh Yadav said.
"It is a matter of procedure, we have done our job by sending the file to higher authorities and it is now up to them to decide. Hopefully, Akhil will be promoted but whether it takes a day or six months, we cannot say," he added.
The bantam weight pugilist said he was now in a fix on whether to wait for that elusive Railways promotion or accept the DSP's post that has been offered to him by the Haryana government.
"Everybody wants a secure future, so do I. I wish to remain with Railways but then I don't want to end up in a situation where they don't promote me and I lose the DSP's post as well," the 27-year-old said.
Akhil, who created a flutter at last month's Beijing Olympics by beating reigning world champion Sergey Vodopyanov before losing in the quarterfinals, is also an Asian Championship bronze medallist.
He was adjudged the 'Best Boxer' of the first Asian Olympic Qualifying Tournament where he won the gold medal earlier this year but despite these commendable performances, his employers have twice refused him promotion.
The Railways have already lost their star boxer, Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh, who joined Haryana Police even before the Beijing Games.
"I was made inspector by Haryana government before Olympics and I was happy to leave Railways for that," Vijender said.
RSPB retained the national title this year by a point but coach Jaidev Bisht insisted that the Railways need to be more considerate towards their athletes to prevent them from leaving.
"We have already lost Vijender to Haryana and now I don't want to lose Akhil. It is high time he gets his due because he has been doing consistently well over the years," he said.
"This is the least we can do for someone who is a role model for his fellow boxers and juniors," Bisht added.