Seasoned pugilist and Commonwealth Championship Gold Medalist Som Bahadur Poon will join the ranks of professional boxers in India and make his professional debut at the Indian Boxing Council fight night on January 29.
Known as the comeback man in boxing, Poon, who had decided to quit as a player to become a coach, will be pitted against Manop Sitthiem of Thailand.
“This is a second lease of life for the boxer in me,” says the veteran Army boxer, who had virtually given up boxing after the 2008 World Military Boxing Championship. “Health issues were not letting me compete and I could not think of staying away from the sport that has made me what I am today. I was successful as a coach too and my boxers were winning medals”, Poon said.
Poon is another in the growing list of boxers who are turning professionals in India. Veteran boxer Sarita Rani and youngster Pinki Jangra are also making their debut as a professional on January 29. Imphal girl Sarita will be pitted against Zsofia Bedo of Hungary while Commonwealth Games Glasgow Medalist Pinki Jangra will take on Claudia Ferenczi of Slovakia.
Professional boxing in the country is being launched in a structured manner for the first time. There is a system in place that will ensure year-long competitive calendar and boxers’ rise from the ranks,” Brigadier PK Muaralidharan Raja, President Indian Boxing Council said.