The Indian Boxing League, scheduled from October 20, has been deferred yet again. The league now will not take place before November, a change that will force the rescheduling of Women’s nationals which are slated from December 1 to 7.
Commercial partners for the Indian Boxing League, the proposed franchisees-based amateur boxing competition under the aegis of the Boxing Federation of India, SportzLive has confirmed to insidesport.co that even as things are falling in place, the league might not start from October 20. Slowdown has slowed down league’s commercial progress. Literally.
This is the third occasions in the past four months that the franchisee-based, six-team league is being postponed. It was reported in May that the inaugural edition of the league will take place during August-September. A month later, it was announced that the league will be conducted across three venues from October 20 to November 9.
Now, the October 20-November 9 dates are also ruled out.
“We have inked deals with four franchisees. Talks are on for the other two teams. Economic slowdown has slowed down the process. But things are falling in place and we will launch the league in November. You will hear all the details soon,” SportzLive Chairman and founder Atul Pande told insidesport.co.
The Boxing Federation of India, however, is not aware of any changes being considered in the schedule. BFI secretary general Jay Kowli, when contacted, expressed surprise over the development.
“We had rescheduled the men’s nationals to accommodate the league during the October-November window. Any change will further affect our national programme. League at this stage is most important. We are not aware of any change in the schedule. If need arises, we will see what all is required,” said Kowli, who was concerned about the Women’s National Championships which are slated from December 1 to 7.
“The federation will extend all the possible help as long as our Olympic programme (for boxers training and build up) is not affect,” he added. The BFI has been working on a rigorous programme for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Kowli himself monitors the programme religiously and takes regular feedbacks from boxers and coaches.
In the proposed format of the league, each match between two teams will consist of five bouts across different weight categories. The 18-action packed days, including the final, will have a total of 90 bouts.
It was announced that the league will feature Indian stars like MC Mary Kom, Sonia Lather, Shiva Thapa, Amit Panghal and Gaurav Bidhuri along with 50 prominent foreign boxers. Considering the fact that the Olympics will start in July next year, any further delay will jeopardise all possibilities of the league before the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
Meanwhile, InsideSport.co has also reliably learnt that SportzLive are also engaged with talks to disinvest its stake in the league.