Some of India's well known pugilists, including Olympians Jitender Kumar and Diwaker Prasad, have joined the race to represent the country in the World Series of Boxing, scheduled to be held in November.
In this regard, Transstadia Boxing India Pvt Ltd, the parent company of the Mumbai franchisee for WSB, is conducting pre-selection trials of its team for different categories on Saturday and Sunday.
Besides Jitender and Diwakar, the selection trials will also see junior world champions Balvir Singh and Vipin Kumar, junior Asian gold medallists Santosh Harizan and Chotelal Yadav and a number of national champions fight for berths.
Boxers participating in the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan starting September 22, will automatically be eligible for direct participation for the franchise.
The selection committee includes Asian Games gold medallist Dingko Singh, Kishen Narsi, AIBA executive committee member, Rajesh Bhandari, vice-president, IABF, Gopal Dewang and Manoj Pingle while the observers, among others, will have Brig. PK Muralidharan Raja, secretary general of IABF.
The Indian franchisee will pick the boxers in five weight categories as per the format of WSB - Bantam (50-54 kgs), Light (57-61 kgs), Middle (68-73 kgs), Heavy (80-85 kgs) and Super Heavy (+91 kgs).
The WSB league consists of 12 teams from around the world, divided into two groups of six teams each.
The Indian franchisee is clubbed with Dolce & Gabbana Milano Thunder of Italy, Pohang Poseidons of Korea, Los Angeles Matadors of USA, Dynamo Moscow of Russia and Astana Arlans of Kazakasthan in Group A.
The WSB starts with each team having five 'home' and an equal number of 'away' matches followed by the quarters, semis, finals and individual championships.