Imphal: It will be the beginning of a new phase for celebrated Indian woman boxer L Sarita Devi as she will make her foray into the professional circuit by taking on veteran Hungarian Zsofia Bedo in her debut bout, in Imphal on Sunday.
The five-bout Fight Night, being conducted by the Indian Boxing Council, will also witness Pinki Jangra and veteran Som Bahadur Poon making their professional debut.
"These (professional) boxers always make tall claims. I have trained really hard, my coach is among the best in professional boxing, he is monitoring my progress. He is confident, I have trained up to 8 hours every day. I am playing for the pride of Manipur, I am playing for the pride of India," Sarita said.
"I have to give a gift of victory to my fans. Ask her (Zsofia) after the bout on Sunday, you will find her looking for excuses. She made fun of my emotions yes I cry, because I am not ready to lose," she added.
Zsofia was quick to brush aside Sarita's assertions.
"She (Sarita Devi) is starting her career. She will start learning about pro boxing. Her amateur past is nothing here. I have come so far, it is only to win. If u have fan support, there is pressure on you. May be everyone knows here who is Sarita. On Sunday evening they will know there is a girl from Hungary Zsofia Bedo, who beat Sarita in her home city," she said.
Glasgow Commonwealth 2014 Games bronze-medallist, Pinki too is confident of a winning start to her professional career. Pinki will take on Claudia Ferenczi of Slovakia.
Former Commonwealth champion, Som Bahadur Poon will return to make a pro debut eight years after he had played his last competitive bout during the 2008 Military Games.
Poon will take on Manop Siththiem of Thailand on Sunday.
"This is a second lease of life for the boxer in me," says the veteran Army boxer, who had virtually given up boxing after the 2008 World Military Boxing Championship," he said.
Four-time Super Welterweight IBC National Champion Siddharth Verma, in an eight-round bout, will defend his title against fellow countryman Jaganthan, who has a 1-0 professional record.
Verma has won all of his four professional bouts. Another armyman Vipin Kumar will be up against Mubarak Sseguya of Uganda.
The event shall be broadcast live on six broadcast networks, including Doordarshan,
"We are committed to establish India as the next big thing in the world of professional boxing. The high octane action is going to inspire an entire generation to embrace this sport," said IBC President Brig PKM Raja.
Updated Date: Jan 28, 2017 20:01:52 IST