LZ Promotions' 'India Unleashed' fight night set to mark new chapter in Indian professional boxing
The event, organised by US-based LZ Promotion and sanctioned by the Indian Boxing Council (IBC), will have 10 fight cards in its lineup
Professional boxing is set to start a new chapter in the country with the 'India Unleashed' event that is set to take place in Jalandhar on 1 May.
The event, organised by US-based LZ Promotion and sanctioned by the Indian Boxing Council (IBC), will have 10 fight cards in its lineup with leading pugilists Pawan Goyat, Chandni Mehra (featherweight) and Suman Kumari (lightweight) among the star attractions. Among the 20 boxers in action that night, who will be scouted from across the country, Goyat will be gunning for a title shot.
The upcoming fight night, which the promoters hope will be the first of many, is set to be hosted at the wrestling academy of ex-WWE superstar Dalip Singh, a.k.a. 'The Great Khali', in Jalandhar, Punjab.
"Definitely there is huge potential for pro boxing in India. It just needs a structured ecosystem and an approach that has the quality to be called fight nights. The 'India Unleashed' fight night is our effort and a step in the right direction to make pro-boxing a hit," said LZ Promotion CEO Parm Goraya at a press conference in New Delhi on Friday.
"I’m sure ‘India Unleashed’ will set a benchmark and contribute to the development of boxers in the country. My plan is to bring in more such fights and initiate a professional Indian circuit which guarantees quality fights," added the second-generation British Indian, who is also a registered promoter with the Nevada State Athletic Commission in the United States.
While the amateur version of the sport dominates the Indian boxing scene, with the likes of MC Mary Kom, Amit Panghal leading the way in terms of world championships and medals, there has been a steady rise in interest in professional boxing in India.
Vijender Singh, who won bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, turned pro in 2015 and has since been a leading figure in Indian professional boxing with an undefeated run in 12 bouts, the latest of which came against Ghana's Charles Adamu in November 2019.
This comes after 10 members of the men's contingent in Patiala, including national head coach CA Kuttappa, were found positive in tests conducted a few days ago.
"Out of 380, 26 athletes have tested positive for the virus but the good thing is that they are not Olympic-bound athletes. The positive athletes have been isolated and the entire campus has been sanitised," a SAI source said.
Mary Kom is a six-time Asian medallist, including five gold medals. She had opted out of the previous edition of the event in 2019.