The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) on Monday announced the title sponsor for the 2023 IBA Women’s World Championships on Monday and legendary boxer MC Mary Kom and Bollywood star Farhan Akhtar have also been announced as brand ambassadors for the event, which will be held from 15th to 15th June 2023 26 at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi.
India is hosting the event for the third time in history and the country is set to be gripped by boxing fever as several top pugilists headline the championships, according to a BFI press release.
Ajay Singh, President of the Boxing Federation of India said: “We are delighted to welcome Mahindra Automotive as our main sponsor in our mission to promote women’s participation in boxing. Mary Kom is a legend in our sport and Farhan Akhtar is a Bollywood icon who has directed several inspirational sports films including one about boxing. Working with these two youth icons will raise the profile of this World Championship and help promote the sport across the country. The event will also help showcase India’s potential to host major global tournaments to the world.”
Mary Kom, a bronze medalist at the London Olympics, is the most decorated boxer in the history of the Women’s World Championships, having won the title six times as well as silver and bronze.
“India is hosting the World Cup for the third time and it is a special and rare honor. It will highlight India’s strength as a sporting nation before a global audience. I’m delighted to be part of this tournament and I’m sure it will be a golden page in Indian sporting history,” said Mary Kom.
A biopic depicting Mary Kom’s journey in 2014 brought boxing to the big screen and also encouraged the country’s women to take up boxing. On the other hand, Farhan Akhtar – a passionate sports lover – is also known for his starring roles in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Toofaan which showed a boxer’s journey.
During the event, Farhan will be engaging with the boxers and will also be spreading the excitement of the tournament through his social media channels.
Speaking of his association, Farhan Akhtar said: “I am honored and delighted to be part of such a prestigious event. It is a matter of my personal pride that India is hosting the World Boxing Championship for Women. My love for this sport dates back long before I started training for my film Toofaan and to be here to celebrate this event is a wonderful feeling. As an avid sports lover I have followed our girls journey and cheered and applauded each time they brought glory to India I hope you all follow the thrilling struggles and draw inspiration from these women from around the world. I also want to give a special mention to BFI who are doing a great job of encouraging and supporting women in this area of boxing. And finally, good luck to all players participating in this event. Todun taak!”
Top names from the boxing world, including eight Olympic medalists, will be battling it out for the title at the tournament, which India is hosting for the third time. The event will also feature a huge prize pool of €20 crores.
Tokyo 2020 bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) has won two bronze medals at world championships so far and will join seven other Olympic champions boxing for glory at the upcoming championships.
Nikhat Zareen, on the other hand, will defend her title in the 50kg category. She became world champion at the 2022 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul, Turkey.
Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Nitu Ghanghas will also represent the country in the 48kg category. The two-time World Youth Champion will be looking to add another big medal to her name.
Manisha Moun, who made her name on the global stage with an impressive performance at the 2018 World Championships in Delhi, will represent the country in the highly competitive 57kg featherweight category. Manisha won the bronze medal at the 2022 World Championships.
2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Jaismine Lamboria was a quarterfinalist of the 2022 edition and will box in the 60kg category.
Young pugilists Preeti and Sanamacha Chanu will represent India in the 54kg and 70kg categories respectively. Preeti won a bronze medal at the 2022 Asian Championships, while Sanamcha is the 2021 World Youth Champion and recently became the national champion in her category.
The reigning Asian and national champion Saweety Boora competes in the weight class up to 81 kg. The veteran fighter, who won a silver medal at the 2014 World Championships in South Korea, will be eager to continue her impressive form to add to her medal tally.
World Youth Champions Sakshi Chaudhary (52kg) and Shashi Chopra (63kg) and 2019 South Asian Games gold medalist Manju Bamboria (66kg) will be keen to demonstrate their skills in their respective categories at the Worlds.
In the 81kg heavyweight division, India’s medal hopes are carried by reigning national champion Nupur Sheoran.
The event will see a total prize pool of €20 crores – €10 crores is the pool for gold medalists. Boxers who finish as runners-up in their categories, as well as those who claim bronze, receive their prizes from pools of €5 crores each.
The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) will host the Women’s World Boxing Championships for the third time, the most in any country since the tournament began, which has so far registered a total of 350 female boxers, including 12 Indians, from 74 countries this biennial event.
Indian Squad – Nitu Ghanghas (48 kg), Nikhat Zareen (50 kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (52 kg), Preeti (54 kg), Manisha Moun (57 kg), Jaismine Lamboria (60 kg), Shashi Chopra (63 kg) , Manju Bamboria (66 kg), Sanamcha Chanu (70 kg), Lovlina Borgohain (75 kg), Saweety Boora (81 kg) and Nupur Sheoran (81 kg). (ANI).
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