Aiming to secure berths in the world championship squad, close to 400 boxers, including the likes of five-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa and former world bronze-winner Gaurav Bidhuri, will be competing in the National Men's Championships starting on Wednesday.
The gold-winners from the event will be automatic selections for the world event, while the silver-medallists will fetch a place in the national camp. "The rest two spots (in the national camp), will be decided on the basis of selection trials among the bronze medallists and the second teams of the top three performing units of the last National Championships SSCB (Services), RSPB (Railways) and Haryana," the Boxing Federation of India said in a statement.
The Olympic-returned group of five, including flyweight star Amit Panghal, has decided to give the event a miss due to lack of practice time and niggles. While Thapa will compete in 63.5kg category representing Assam, Bidhuri will be in action in the 57kg division for the Railways. Head guards will be used during the competition as was reported by PTI earlier this month.
The world event will be held from October 26 and it would be the first major international competitive outing for the boxers after the Tokyo Olympics. Apart from Thapa, Commonwealth Games medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin (Services) and Asian silver-medallist Deepak Kumar (Services) will also be among the country's top boxers who will be vying for the titles.
Altogether, 35 States/UT, Units and Boards will compete in the championships that will be played as per the International Boxing Association's (AIBA) revised weight divisions. The revised weight divisions for men, after being increased from 10 to 13, are 48kg, 51kg, 54kg, 57kg, 60kg, 63.5kg, 67kg, 71kg, 75kg, 80kg, 86kg, 92kg, and +92kg.
The marquee domestic boxing event is making a comeback after a gap of one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Also there would be Asian champion Sanjeet, who is also a former India Open gold-medallist. The tournament requires boxers, participating officials and support staff to present a negative RT-PCR test report obtained 72 hours before landing at the competition. The boxers' temperatures is also being checked on arrival.