Mumbai: Olympians Jitendra Kumar and Diwakar Prasad are among the 19 pugilists who have been short-listed to represent the Mumbai franchisee in the World Series of Boxing.
Owners of the franchisee, TransStadia Boxing India Pvt Ltd, has shortlisted 19 probable boxers out of which 15 will be picked in the upcoming AIBA-World Series of Boxing (WSB) starting in November, according to a press release.
The Indian franchisee has picked up the boxers in five weight categories as per the format of WSB – bantamweight (50-54kg), lightweight (57-61kg), middleweight (68-73kg), heavyweight (80-85kg) and super heavyweight (+91 kg).
Besides Jitendra, junior world champions Balvir Singh and Vipin Kumar, and Gaurav Bhiduri have made the cut in the bantamweight category.
Olympian Diwakar Prasad, Siddharth Verma, Mishal Kakhra, and Manoj Singh have been short-listed in the lightweight category, while Vijay Hooda, Lakhbir Singh, Brijesh Kumar Meena and Vinit Kotian have been named as probables in the middleweight category.
In the light heavyweight category, Parminder Singh, Ajay Singh, Rahul Kumar and Tej Karan have made the cut while three others -- Ram Singh, Sumit Ranghi, Krishan Kumar – have been picked for the heavyweight category.
Boxers, who are participating in the upcoming World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, will automatically be eligible for direct participation for the franchise, the release said.
The pre-selection process started on September 17 and concluded today with 29 pugilists from all parts of country fighting it out to earn a berth in the Indian franchisee, it said.
"It is for the first time the Indian boxing is opening up for such big events through private partners. This is an encouraging sign for Indian boxing as interest of people will increase in this sport and new opportunities would come up for boxers in the country," Jitendra said.
"WSB is a premier boxing event globally and is considered a platform for the creation of fantastic Olympic talent. We are excited to have the best boxers in our side to ensure that India is well represented. We will soon be finalising the India WSB team. I am sure that though being the Indian team participating for the first time, we will emerge as winners," TransStadia Managing Director, Udit Sheth said.
List of probable pugilists:
Bantam Weight: Balvir Singh (Junior World Champion), Jeetender Kumar (Olympian), Gaurav Bhiduri Vipin Kumar (Junior World Champion).
Light Weight: Diwakar Prasad (Olympian), Siddharth Verma, Mishal Kakhra, Manoj Singh.
Middle Weight: Vijay Hooda, Lakhbir Singh, Brijesh Kumar Meena, Vinit Kotian.
Light Heavyweight: Parminder Singh, Ajay Singh, Rahul Kumar, Tej Karan.
Heavyweight: Ram Singh, Sumit Ranghi, Krishan Kumar.