American coach for Indian team in WSB
New Delhi: A little-known American Ronald Simms and Dronacharya awardee Jagdish Singh have been roped in as coaches for the Indian team, comprising the likes of Olympic medallist Vijender Singh and Akhil Kumar, for the World Series of Boxing starting this November.
Vijender, Akhil, Jitender Kumar, Jai Bhagwan and Dinesh are the Delhi-based franchise’s Indian picks and it also signed up nine international boxers at an auction held in London earlier this week.
All these boxers will have to make some adjustments to their weight categories to participate in the event which starts November 19.
World number one Vijender, who competes in the 75kg category, will have to rise to the 85kg division. Commonwealth champion Dinesh Kumar, who is currently competing in the 81kg division, will have to go up to the super heavy weight +91kg category.
Akhil and Jitender, who are set for the 56kg division right now, will have to reduce a bit to fit into the 54kg division in WSB.
Jai would be relatively unaffected as the light weight (60kg) boxer would be fighting in the 61kg division in WSB.
The other franchises for the event are Americas (Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Mexico City), Asia (Astana, Baku) and Europe (Paris, Moscow, Milan, Istanbul).
Indian Boxing Federation Secretary General P K Muralidharan Raja, Jagdish, Simms were there in London at the time of the auction.
International heavyweights in the team include World Championship silver medallist Roman Kapitonenko of Ukraine and Olympic bronze winner Bahodirjon Sultonov of Uzbekistan.
Also in the team is Beijing Olympics quarter-finalist Abdelhafid Benchabla of Algeria.
The International Boxer Draft allowed the 12 WSB teams to select from a pool of 175 boxers from 64 countries to complete their squads of national boxers.