IMPHAL, Jan 28: Boxing favourite of State, Laishram Sarita’s hope of having a bout in her own State will become a reality as she is all set to make a foray into the professional circuit by taking on veteran Hungarian Zsofia Bedo in her debut bout on Sunday at Khuman Lampak.
The five-bout Fight Night, being conducted by the Indian Boxing Council, will also witness other Indian boxers Pinki Jangra and veteran Som Bahadur Poon making their professional debut.
Sarita, a former world champion and Asian Games bronze-medallist, had a face-off with her opponent Zsofia today at Classic Grande Conference hall.
The 59-pro bout veteran from Hungary has experience on her side, but Sarita exuded confidence that she had trained hard to silence her opponent.
“These (professional) boxers always make tall claims. I have trained really hard, my coach is among the best in professional boxing, he is monitoring my progress. He is confident, I have trained up to 8 hours every day. I am playing for the pride of Manipur, I am playing for the pride of India,” Sarita said.
“I have to give a gift of victory to my fans. Ask her (Zsofia) after the bout tomorrow, you will find her looking for excuses. She made fun of my emotions yes I cry, because I am not ready to lose,” she added.
Zsofia is not ready to take Sarita seriously as she was quick to brush aside Sarita’s assertions.
“She (Sarita Devi) is starting her career. She will start learning about pro boxing. Her amateur past is nothing here. I have come so far, it is only to win. If you have fan support, there is pressure on you. May be everyone knows here who is Sarita. On Sunday evening they will know there is a girl from Hungary called Zsofia Bedo, who beat Sarita in her home city,” she said.
Glasgow Commonwealth 2014 Games bronze-medallist, Pinki too is confident of a winning start to her professional career. Pinki will take on Claudia Ferenczi of Slovakia.
Former Commonwealth champion, Som Bahadur Poon will return to make a pro debut eight years after he had played his last competitive bout during the 2008 Military Games.
Poon will take on Manop Siththiem of Thailand on Sunday.
“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.
The face off between the fighters cum media interaction held today at Classic Grande Conference hall was attended by PKM Raja, President Indian Boxing Council; Ashish Chadha, Director, Sporty Boxing, IBC’s commercial partners; Y Rupachandra, chairman, Impact TV and A Mobi, president, Editors’ Guild, Manipur.
The opening bout will be between Sseguya Mubarak and Army man Vipin Kumar and in another exciting match, four times super welter weight IBC National Championship Siddharat Verma will defend his title against fellow countryman Jaganthan who has 1-0 professional record. Verma has won all professional bouts earlier.
“We are committed to establish India as the next big thing in the world of professional boxing. The high octane action is going to inspire an entire generation to embrace this sport,” said IBC President Brig PKM Raja.
The event shall be broadcast live on six broadcast networks including Doordarshan, PTC Punjabi, No 1 regional network in UP, Dangal and Impact TV, Manipur. More than 100 young boxing trainees will witness the biggest competitive boxing action in the history of Manipur.
The demand for tickets is high and city promoters, Impact Medianet and Communications are sure of a packed house.
“We are thrilled to be promoting the first pro boxing Fight Night in Imphal which will feature one of Manipur’s favourite daughters. Manipur is a land of sports and boxing has a special place. So when an opportunity presented itself to take boxing to the next level, we thought we should be playing a major role. We have with us the active support of Editors’ Guild, Manipur in this venture which we hope will give a huge boost to pro boxing in Manipur,” said Yumnam Rupachandra.
“We are committed to establish this sport as a career option,’ said Ashish Chadha, Director, Sporty Boxing.
Source: The Sangai Express