India in race for World Series of Boxing franchise

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> India faces competition from traditional powerhouses in its bid to be among the four Asian franchises for the World Series of Boxing.

Updated: January 27, 2009 10:05 IST
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India faces competition from traditional powerhouses like Thailand and Kazakhstan in its bid to be among the four Asian franchises for the World Series of Boxing planned next year.

The five-weight-category, inter-continental event would feature four city-based teams each from Asia, America and Europe.

Every franchisee would be worth USD 10 million and selection of boxers for the event would be done at the World Championships in Milan this August, Indian Boxing Federation secretary general Col P K Muralidharan Raja said.

"So far, apart from India, Thailand, China, Korea, Qatar and Kazakhstan are among the contenders for becoming a franchisee. The discussions are on and the whole thing will be finalised in the AIBA executive meeting in Milan next month," Raja, who was elected chairman of Asian Boxing Confederation's Referee and Judges Commission recently, said.

"We are trying for Delhi but we cannot seek any expression of interest from any franchisee until the AIBA executive committee meeting decides on the matter. Once it is decided, we would take the next step of approaching people (sponsors)," he added.

Col Raja was in Montreal last week to attend the International Referees and Judges Commission meeting and revealed that the World Series of Boxing was the dominant topic of discussion.

"We discussed the rules and regulations for the World Series. Right now, I can only reveal that there will be three judges and one referee to oversee a bout and each round would be of 10 points. The scoring would be manual and officials would be specially trained," Raja said.

The franchises will have 10 boxers, three of whom foreigners, for the tournament that will be contested on home and away basis on weekends.

The boxers can look forward to a financial windfall from event. Apart from getting a yet-to-be-disclosed prize money for each bout won, they will also have the cushion of a fixed package from their respective franchises.

"A franchisee has to pay at least USD 30,000 to a boxer in its team. The maximum can go up to USD 300,000. Or else they can pay all 10 of them equally. There will be two boxers for each of the five categories," Col Raja said.

The federations can also expect some benefits as 10 per cent of the USD 10 million of a franchisee would be set for them.

"This is just to ensure that the federation remains in the loop," he said.

After the World series, the semifinal and final of which is planned in Macau, an individual World Championship would also be held among the best two boxers from each category.

"The two best boxers from each category will compete in a separate event, which will also offer prize money," he said.

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