Spectators will be allowed at next month's men's world boxing championships in Serbia, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced on Monday, making it the first major event in the sport to welcome back fans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The AIBA, in a statement, said that tickets have gone on sale for the October 24 to November 6 showpiece, where India will be represented by a full-strength 13-strong squad featuring Asian medal-winners like Deepak Kumar (51kg), Shiva Thapa (63.5kg) and Sanjeet (92kg).
"Spectators are allowed at the 2021 AIBA men's World Boxing Championships at Stark Arena in Belgrade, Serbia. Tickets for the main AIBA event went on sale via official tickets partner eFinity on the website efinity.rs," the AIBA said.
AIBA President Umar Kremlev said he is eager to see fans back in the arena after COVID-19 health safety protocols forced many sporting events to become made for television in the last year and half. "We are waiting for boxing fans from Serbia and around the globe to attend AIBA World Boxing Championships," Kremlev said.
"For us, it will be the first major event with spectators after the start of the pandemic. We are happy to welcome everyone in Belgrade at Stark Arena. I expect tough fights, beautiful victories and bright emotions from the tournament. Our boxers will deliver a great show for everyone," he added.
For the first time in AIBA's 75-year history, the medal winners at the championships will be rewarded with significant prize money. The prize money fund has been set at USD 2.6 million. The prize for first place is USD 100,000. The silver-medallists will receive USD 50,000 and both bronzes in each weight category will walk away with USD 25,000.
Championships schedule October 24: Opening Ceremony October 25-November 2: Preliminaries November 3: Rest Day November 4: Semi-finals November 5-6: Finals.