The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) on Monday unveiled the title sponsor for the IBA Women’s World Championships 2023 on Monday and legendary boxer MC Mary Kom and Bollywood star Farhan Akhtar were also announced as the brand ambassadors of the event, scheduled from March 15 to 26 at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi.
India is hosting the event for the third time in the history and the country is set to be gripped by boxing fever as several top-notch pugilists are headlining the Championships, as per a press release from BFI.
Ajay Singh, President, the Boxing Federation of India said, “We are delighted to welcome Mahindra Automotive as our lead sponsor. And the presence of Mary Kom and Farhan Akhtar as the brand ambassadors for the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships will add immense value to our mission of encouraging women’s participation in boxing. Mary Kom is a legend of our sport and Farhan Akhtar is a Bollywood icon who has made several inspiring sports movies including one about boxing. The association with these two youth icons will enhance the prestige of this World Championship and help in promoting the sport across the country. The event will also help showcase to the world India’s potential as a host for big global tournaments.”
Mary Kom, a bronze medallist in the London Olympics, is the most decorated boxer in the history of the Women’s World Championships, having clinched the title six times along with a silver and bronze.
“India is hosting the World Championships for the third time and it is a special and rare honour. It will underline India’s strength as a sporting nation in front of a global audience. I am delighted to be a part of this tournament and I am certain that this will be a golden page in India’s sporting history,” said Mary Kom.
A biopic depicting Mary Kom’s journey in 2014 put boxing on a 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 popular for his lead roles in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Toofaan, which showcased the journey of a boxer.
During the event, Farhan will engage with the boxers and will spread the excitement of the tournament through his social media handles too.
Talking about his association, Farhan Akhtar said: “I am honoured and excited to be a part of such a prestigious event. It is a matter of personal pride that India is hosting the World Boxing Championship for Women. My love for the sport goes back long before I started training for my film, Toofaan, and now to be here celebrating this event is a wonderful feeling. As an avid sport lover, I have followed the journey of our girls, cheered and applauded every time they brought glory to India in this sport! I hope that all of you will watch the exciting bouts and get inspired by these women from around the world. I would also like to give a special mention to BFI who are doing a tremendous job by encouraging and supporting women in the field of boxing. And finally, good luck to all the players participating in this event. Todun taak!”
Top names from the boxing world, including eight Olympics medallists, will fight for the title at the tournament which India will be hosting for the record third time. The event will also see a massive prize pool of ₹20 crore.
2020 Tokyo Bronze medallist, Lovlina Borgohain (75 kg) has two World Championships bronze medals to her name so far and will join seven other Olympic medallists boxing for glory in the upcoming Championships.
Nikhat Zareen, on the other hand, will defend her title in the 50kg category. She became the world champion in the 2022 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships held in Istanbul, Turkey.
Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nitu Ghanghas will also represent the country in the 48kg category. The two-time Youth World Champion will look to add yet another major medal to her name.
Manisha Moun who announced herself on the global stage with impressive performances at the 2018 World Championships in Delhi will be representing the country in the highly competitive 57kg featherweight category. Manisha won the bronze medal at the 2022 World Championships.
2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jaismine Lamboria has been a quarter-finalist in the 2022 edition and will box in the 60kg category.
Young pugilists Preeti and Sanamacha Chanu will represent India in the 54kg and 70 kg categories respectively. Preeti won a bronze medal at the 2022 Asian Championships whereas Sanamcha is the 2021 Youth World Champion and recently became the National Champion in her category.
The reigning Asian and national champion Saweety Boora will be competing in the 81kg weight category. The experienced campaigner, who won a silver medal in the 2014 World Championships in South Korea will be eager to continue her impressive form to add to her medal tally.
Youth World Champions Sakshi Chaudhary (52kg) and Shashi Chopra (63kg) along with 2019 South Asian Games gold medallist Manju Bamboria (66kg) will be eager to prove their mettle in their respective categories at the World Championships.
In the 81kg heavyweight category, India’s medal hopes will be shouldered by the reigning National Champion Nupur Sheoran.
The event will see a total prize pool of ₹20 crore – ₹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 ₹5 crores respectively.
The Boxing Federation of India (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 350 boxers, including the 12 Indians, from 74 countries have registered so far for this biennial event.
Indian Squad- Nitu Ghanghas (48kg), Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (52kg), Preeti (54kg), Manisha Moun (57kg), Jaismine Lamboria (60kg), Shashi Chopra (63kg), Manju Bamboria (66kg), Sanamcha Chanu (70kg), Lovlina Borgohain (75kg), Saweety Boora (81kg) and Nupur Sheoran (81 kg). (ANI).
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