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Guwahati: Assam government is leaving no stone unturned to make the second edition of India Open Boxing Tournament a success in Guwahati. The government here has also adopted special measures for safety and security of the players and officials for the Championship which starts from May 20 and will continue for the next four days at Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor stadium. The Chairman of the organizing committee and the Member Secretary of the State level Advisory Committee for Student and Youth Welfare Lakhya Konwar said that the Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is taking utmost care for the tournament. “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. We are thankful to the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and AIBA for giving us this opportunity,” Konwar said. He said that the CM has also called for a special meeting this evening keeping in mind the schedule of the tournament. “Already two crucial meetings have taken place with the police on the security issues. Apart from that, we are also glad to inform you that the stadium is ready and for the first time we have already handed over the stadium to the organizers six days prior to the tournament which will help the BFI and Assam Boxing Association (ABA) to carry out their initial works smoothly,” Konwar added.
200 pugilists from 16 countries to competeThe $70,000 tournament is also being touted as a major boost for the home boxers. As many as six Assam pugilists are participating in the tournament. “It will be a great platform for the young and especially for the home boxers as they will be performing in front of their home crowds. It will boost their confidence. The last major event was the youth championship but this will be a completely different and much tougher game. I hope our boxers will do well,” said ABA secretary Hemanta Kalita. Also Read: World Youth Champion Ankushita eyes a golden comeback at India Open The Assam boxers to be seen in action are Shiva Thapa (60kg), Jamuna Boro (54kg), Pwilao Basumatary (64kg), Ankushita Boro (64kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (75kg). A total of nearly 200 pugilists from 16 boxing powerhouses like Italy, Poland, Argentina and Thailand among others will be vying for glory. Some of the top boxers from major powerhouses including Asian Games gold medallists Baturov Bobo, Mirzakhalilov Mirazizbek and world champion Josie Gabuco will be testing themselves ahead of the World Championships, which is an Olympic qualifier. Guwahati has already successfully hosted AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championships in 2017. Prior to that, the city also hosted the 1st Elite Men National Boxing Championships in 2016. On the sidelines of this tournament, a six-day, 2 Star RJ (Referees and Judges) course will be organized by AIBA instructors.