The second edition of the India Open International Boxing Tournament to be held at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium in Guwahati from May 20-24 will see top boxers from major powerhouses including Asian Games gold medallists Baturov Bobo, Mirzakhalilov Mirazizbek, and world champion Josie Gabuco testing themselves ahead of the World Championships, which is an Olympic qualifier.
Four-time Asian Championships medallist Shiva Thapa will lead six boxers from Assam at this tournament as 38 men and 37 women from India and a total of nearly 200 pugilists from 16 boxing powerhouses like Italy, Poland, Argentina, Thailand will be vying for glory.
“Assam has in the past hosted the World Youth Championships but having an opportunity to host an elite international tournament with the world’s best boxers is not just a chance to promote the sport but also to showcase boxing in the North-East. We hope hosting the tournament here will help to take it further to the next level in the North-east region,” said Lakhya Konwar, Chairman, Organizing Committee of the 2nd edition of the India Open.
World Championships bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), 2017 World Youth Championship gold medalist Ankushita Boro (64kg) along with Bhagyabati Kachari (75kg), Jamuna Boro (54kg) and 2018 India Open gold medallist Pwilao Basumatary (64kg) are the other local faces who will take the ring as the $70,000 prize money tournament takes off where the gold medallist will get $2500 and the silver medallist will earn $1000.
The five-day tournament will be held under the auspices of Government of India, Ministry Youth Affairs and Sports and the Sports Authority of India. The Assam government too has lent its full support to stage the event in Guwahati.
The tournament will see London Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom making her competitive debut at home in 51kg. Some of the Indian women pugilists who changed their weight categories (for Olympic qualification) are Asian champion
Pooja Rani (from 81 to 75kg), Bhagyabati Kachari (from 81 to 75kg) Manisha Moun (from 54 to 57kg) and Simranjit Kaur (from 64 to 60kg).
The men’s squad will be led by Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal (52kg) and 2017 World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) both of whom will be big medal bets from India.
On the sidelines of this tournament, a six-day, 2*RJ (Referees & Judges) course will be organized by AIBA instructors.
The tournament will also witness top level organisational execution at the event with best of infrastructure and facilities along with ASBC Executive Committee Member and Supervisor Syed Abdul Kadir, who will be in charge of the entire technical operations and help to put up a world class show.
Hemanta Kalita, Organizing Secretary of 2nd India Open, further added, “We expect a full house of crowd to witness five days of high-octane boxing action. Hope our boxers from Assam will get the desired home crowd support as they aim for the gold.”
Last year, Mary Kom led six Indian boxers to gold in New Delhi and this year they will aim to add more medals.