After AIBA, the world body for amateur boxing, allowed professional bowers to compete in Rio Olympics, many thought that Vijender Singh, India’s lone Olympic medal winner in boxing, could give it go. However, Vijender who turned professional last year, is in no mood to do so.
“The AIBA proposal to permit professionals calls for them to qualify in a tournament to be held in Venezuela in early July. That will possibly clash with the date of Vijender’s seventh professional bout, likely for an WBO Asia Pacific title belt,” says a report in The Indian Express.
“It won’t make much difference to me. As of now, I am focused on my fight on July 16,” said Vijender to Indian Express, speaking about the contest to be held in New Delhi next month. According to him, the timing of the decision, just around ten weeks before the Rio Olympics is a poor one. “I have been hearing about this proposal from the start of this year. It’s strange that you take a decision with such little time to go before the Olympics,” he says.
Even if he was interested in participating in the qualification tournament, Vijender says he simply wouldn’t have enough time to prepare for such a tournament. “First of all I wouldn’t even know how to go about pursuing this task. I would probably have to go through a federation and no one really knows what the status of the federation in India really is. It’s really difficult to prepare for a tournament at such short notice.”
Meanwhile, India has decided to seek a wildcard entry for star woman boxer MC Mary Kom, who could not qualify for Rio Olympics scheduled from August 5 this year. Mary Kom (51 kg) had missed out on qualifying for the Olympics after bowing out in the second round of last month’s World Championships — the second and final qualifying tournament for women for the Games.
According to a report in Hindustantimes, chairman of the adhoc committee currently running boxing in India, Kishen Narsi, said, “She has been a phenomenal athlete and looking at her overall contribution to the sport, we have decided to request for a wildcard for her. However, her application will be among the many that the International Boxing Association (AIBA) will examine before taking a final decision.”