BFI to conduct men’s national boxing championships from September 15

BFI to conduct men's national boxing championships from September 15
BFI to conduct men's national boxing championships from September 15

BFI to conduct men’s national boxing championships from September 15- The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) have announced the return of national championships next month after last year’s event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. The men’s national boxing championship will be held from September 15 to 22 at the Inspire Institute of Sports in Karnataka’s Bellary.

As per PTI, the national boing championships will be contested in new weight categories, introduced by the International Boxing Association last month. The revised weight divisions for men, after being increased from 10 to 13, are 48kg, 51kg, 54kg, 57kg, 60kg, 63.5kg, 67kg, 71kg, 75kg, 80kg, 86kg, 92kg, and +92kg. The event also is discussing the possibility of allowing boxers to compete with head guards at the event.

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Men’s amateur boxing did away with head guards in 2013 after the AIBA medical commission, after a research study, concluded that removing the gear “may reduce the already small risk of acute brain injury in amateur boxing.” The research stated that head guards can increase the risk of blows to the head because the padding around the eyes limits the boxer’s vision.

However, the removal of protective gear saw the frequency of cuts increasing. To this, the AIBA study had stated that “as boxers become more experienced and acclimated” to boxing without head guards and coaches change their style in view of the new rule, the rate of cuts will be reduced to previous historic levels.

The head guards were made mandatory in 1984 by AIBA before being dumped in 2013. While the AIBA events and Olympic competitions do not feature head guards, national associations are free to conduct their championships with or without the protective headgear.

BFI to conduct men’s national boxing championships from September 15

Hemanta Kalita, Secretary of Boxing Federation of India (BFI), told PTI, “There is an executive committee meeting on September 3 where this will be discussed and if there is consensus, we will allow boxers to wear head guards during the championships. The AIBA gives national federations the choice to conduct their domestic events with or without head guards.

Former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Akhil Kumar said, “It is a great idea because fighting without head guards in one-off bouts in the professional circuit is fine but in a tournament that involves competing continuously for four-five days, it is better to have head guards. I used to get irritated with head guards during my playing days but it is better to have them for competitions like these.”

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If allowed, the guards will be provided by the organisers. The tournament will also require boxers, participating officials and support staff to present a negative RT-PCR test report obtained 72 hours before landing at Bellary.  The boxers’ temperatures will also be checked on arrival.

The 2019 men’s national championship was held in Himachal Pradesh with Services Sports Control Board claiming the overall honours with six gold, two silver and one bronze medal. Another traditional powerhouse Railways had finished second with one gold, four silver and two bronze medals. The Indian men’s boxing team endured an underwhelming Olympic campaign with only one of the five qualified boxers managing to go past the first round. The next big assignment lined up for them is the world championship in Belgrade, Serbia come November.

(With inputs from PTI)