Headline - Railways accused of stifling the growth of its boxers by preventing Super Boxing League participation

Publication - First Post

Source - Bureau

Edition - Online Web

Language - English

Publish Date - 2017-07-19

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Indian boxers Neeraj Goyat, Amandeep Singh and Kuldeep Singh could be barred from competing at the Nationals after taking part in the Super Boxing League without acquiring the 'No-Objection' certificate(NOC) from their employers, the Railways Sports Promotion board(RSPB).According to a report on The Indian Express, Rekha Yadav, the RSPB secretary expressed that though the board has always encouraged its players to take part in professional events, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) refused to allow its boxers to take part in the Super Boxing league run by promoter Bill Dosanjh and British boxer Amir Khan and can put an embargo on Railways boxers’ participation at the National Games,

The RSPB denied approving the request of NOC and on 6 July, issued a letter to the general secretaries of the zonal units and sports associations clarifying the issue.

Though there was a letter from the RSPB, unlike other Railway boxers, Neeraj, Amandeep and Kuldeep went on to participate in the Super Boxing League.

With their participation at the Nationals in jeopardy, they have decided to formally seek permission to compete in the League.

WBC Asia Pacific welterweight champion Goyat said to PTI, "We will meet RSPB secretary Rekha Yadav tomorrow or day after and seek permission. We want the sports ministry to formalise the terms for professional boxers, who are now eligible to compete in the Olympics. It is no crime to compete in the professional circuit," he added. 

Meanwhile, Indian Air Force boxer Deepak Tanwar, who is captaining the Maratha Yoddhas franchise in the SBL,said that he had received a NOC from his board just like Vijender Singh who is with the Haryana Police. Tanwar added that the boxers would succeed only if there is support from the various boards.

Kuldeep Singh said that only a handful of boxers end up with a permanent job with the Centre or state governments while the rest remain invisible. He added that the Nationals will not be able to get the coverage, money and audience that a boxer would get in an event like SBL.

“Kisi wajah se professional boxers ko deshdrohi ki tarah dekha ja raha hai,(For some reason, professional boxers are seen as traitors of the nation). People like Manny Pacquiao go on to become Member of Parliament in their countries, I don't think professional boxing should be looked down upon” said Neeraj, who will defend his WBC Asia-Pacific welterweight title on 5 August.