A new chapter will commence in the history of Indian boxing on on January 29 at Imphal, Manipur, when the nation will get its first women professional pugilist as Arjuna Awardee and former world champion L Sarita Devi will create history as she will become the first ever female boxer from India to step into the world of professional boxing at the Khuman Lampak Sports Complex Indoor Arena.
Sarita is training hard at the Sports Authority India's (SAI) National Boxing Academy in Rohtak for her new avatar. She will make her pro debut against seasoned pro Zsofia Bedo of Hungary, who is a veteran of 59 bouts. The 29-year-old is better known for knocking out her opponents. The World No.29, to her credit, has 19 wins with a seven percent knock out record.
The 31-year-old Sarita is honing her skills under the tutelage of American coach Joe Clough. The 73-year-old Clough has coached Evander Holyfield besides being a member of the Mohammad Ali coaching team.
"I am training hard and I am going to fight harder," says Sarita. "Turning professional is not just about winning or losing a couple of bouts. I am entering professional circuit quite late in my career. I will have to make longer strides to achieve my goals. The stronger the opponent, the better are the chances to improve my pro rankings."
Sarita is excited that her hometown will be the venue. She is also eyeing an Asian title belt over the next 6-8 months on way to her ultimate goal and glory of becoming India's first professional boxing world champion.
Her opponent Zsofia has never contested in Asia before.