International stars join Vijender, Akhil in Indian franchise

New Delhi: Home-grown stars Vijender Singh
and Akhil Kumar will be joined by international heavyweights
like World Championship silver medallist Roman Kapitonenko of
Ukraine and Olympic bronze winner Bahodirjon Sultonov in the
Indian team for the World Series of Boxing this November.

Kapitonenko and Sultonov were among the nine
international boxers that the team signed up at an auction
held in London yesterday.

The Delhi franchise has already signed up five Indians --
Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh, Commonwealth games
gold medallist Akhil Kumar, Commonwealth champions Jai Bhagwan
and Dinesh Kumar and Olympic quarter-finalist Jitender Kumar
-- for the professional-style event scheduled to start from
November 19.

Though the franchise, owned by electronics goods giant
Videocon, is yet to make a formal announcement, the team
signed up nine more at the international auction held in
London yesterday.

Prominent among them are Sultonov, Ukrainian
super-heavyweight prospect Roman Kapitonenko and Beijing
Olympics semi-finalist Abdelhafid Benchabla of Algeria, the
International Boxing Association (AIBA) said in a statement.

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.

Under WSB rules, each team must comprise a minimum of
three foreign boxers in the five weight classes (54kg, 61kg,
73kg, 85kg, 91+kg).


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