Sarita Devi, former world champion boxer and Asian Games bronze-medallist, has decided to turn professional.
The 31-year-old multiple-time Asian champion decided to take the plunge by signing up a two-year deal with the commercial partners of Indian Boxing Council (IBC) - a licensing body for professional boxers in the country - Sporty Boxing Private Limited.
"I was on a curve where one needed to make crucial decisions about the competitive playing career. I can't think of living without boxing. I was also thinking of giving back to the sport that has given me name, fame, recognition and pride to represent the country. I needed an opportunity to extend my playing career; and finances to live up to my dream of promoting talent in Manipur," Sarita said.
She added that her aim was to end her career as a world champion.
"I am a professional boxer now. I have already started training as a pro. I am training hard. My first target is an Asian title in the next six months. My ultimate goal is to retire as a world champion. Professional boxing gives me the opportunity to pursue my dreams," she said.
Giving Sarita Devi a green signal to participate on professional circuit, Manipur's Deputy Chief Minister, Mr Gaikhangam Gangmei said: "Manipur is proud that Sarita Devi, a DSP in Manipur Police will be participating in Indian Boxing Council's Professional Boxing Events and will be competing for National, Asian and World Boxing Titles."