International female pugilists have begun the training camp for the 13th edition of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships with Sri Lanka being the first team to take to the ring. The Championships will be held from March 15 to 26 at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi.
The training camp is being organized by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) with the support of the Rural Electrification Corporation (REC). The leading Maharatna Company under the Ministry of Power signed a support agreement with BFI in February and it will be spending INR 30 crore, as part of its CSR initiative, over the period of three years with an aim to develop the sport in India.
As a part of the support agreement, BFI is utilising the funds to conduct the international training camp which will be attended by the top boxers to prepare for the Championships including the Olympic bronze medallists Lovlina Borgohain and reigning World Champion Nikhat Zareen.
Two Sri Lankan boxers Nadeekapushpakumari (48kg) and Keshani Hansika (57kg) were the first foreign boxers to train for the Championships in the Capital. They sparred against Indian boxers to fine-tune their skills ahead of their bout in front of boxing fans during the tournament.
The BFI will be hosting the Women’s World Boxing Championships for the third time, most ever by any country since the tournament’s inception and a total of 395 boxers, including the 12 Indians, from 78 countries have registered so far for this biennial event.
The event will also see a total prize pool of INR 20 crore – INR 10 crores being the pool for gold medallists. Boxers who finish as runners-up in their categories as well as those who claim bronze will receive their prizes from pools of INR 5 crores respectively.