BIG BOUT LEAGUE: 6 teams, 3 venues, draft on 18th; but it’s all tentative!

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Inaugural season of Boxing Federation of India’s long-awaited professional boxing league – The BIG BOUT – is tipped to run from December 2 to 21. There will be six franchisee-based teams. The league will be played in three cities. The players draft is “set” for November 18, Monday, in New Delhi.

But, this is all “tentative”. With a mere two weeks for the league to start and the draft “scheduled” in three days’ time, there is nothing official about anything. No announcements. No confirmations. And, no certain answers to queries.

For record, a 12-second video on the Big Bout Facebook page remains the lone “official” word that the inaugural professional boxing league under the aegis of the BFI will take place from December 2 to 21 this year.

Read: IOC names Mary Kom in boxing’s athlete ambassadors group for 2020 Olympics has reached out to the BFI secretary-general Jay Kowli for confirmations. He volleys the questions to the Big Bout commercial partners Sportzlive.

Sportzlive chairman and founder Atul Pandey did not respond to queries. A BFI official “unofficially” states that players draft “should be on November 18 in New Delhi. For anything else check with Sportzliv”.

The all is happening two weeks before the “launch” of BFI’s most ambitious project. At a time when a lot of budge was expected in the market. In this case the noise and marketing, keys to a strong foundation of a commercial sport’s venture, are still missing.

The league in the inaugural year will have six teams. It is said “four franchisees are on board. The federation has allowed the organisers to field and manage two teams at their own, if the need be. Still, there is no announcement on the franchisees. No announcement of sponsors.

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A schedule is prepared on excel – for three cities and nearly three weeks – but that too is tentative.

Boxing fraternity amids all this has another concern. The Big Bout start coincides with the 4th Elite Women’s National Boxing Championship, slated from December 2 to 8 in Kannur, Kerala.

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