Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: In another big boost to the sport in the country , India will host the $2.4 million (INR 19.50 crore) prize money IBA Women’s World Boxing Championship. next year
The gold medallists will be awarded with approximately INR 81 lakh ($100,000).
The announcement was made at a press conference here on Wednesday where the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the International Boxing Association (IBA) and the Boxing Federation of India (BFI)
IBA President Umar Kremlev , BFI President Ajay Singh along with world champion Nikhat Zareen were present on the occasion.
Interestingly, it’s President Kremlev’s maiden visit to India. “This is my first visit and it
is been fantastic so far. India is very passionate about boxing and conducting the World Championship here will be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the innumerable victories as well as inspire many more women to take up the sport and popularise the game more than ever. BFI has worked effortlessly to develop boxing in India and the region and I’m sure they will stage an event to remember,” he said
“We are delighted that New Delhi has been named as the host for the World Championships 2023. Hosting three major championships in a span of seven years showcases India’s ability to build infrastructure and capabilities. This is also a reflection of the trust and importance of India in the world of boxing. A tournament of this stature also helps empower women in India giving them the belief to take up sport too,” said BFI President Ajay Singh.
“We also welcome IBA President Mr. Umar Kremlev to India. In a short span of time, he has been able to bring in a new level of dynamism to the sport. IBA and BFI share the same goals of taking boxing to the next level and we are really looking forward to work together.”.
BFI & IBA will be working to introduce a historic bout review system at the Championships, he informed.
It will be the third Women’s World Championships to be conducted in India and the second one within a span of six years. Since the inception of the Championships in 2001, the prestigious biennial event took place twice in India – in 2006 and 2018, both times in New Delhi. India also hosted the Women’s Youth World Championships in 2017.
Boxing in India has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. India has been regularly finishing amongst the top 5 countries in the recent global and multi-event competitions like the World Championships, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. The opportunity to host the upcoming World Championships is also a testament of the efforts put by the BFI in developing the sport in the country and the position it holds at the global stage.
“I’m super excited and really looking forward to playing in front of the home crowds. Hosting an event of this stature is hugely prestigious and always inspires millions of young girls to take up the sport. The countdown has already begun and I am looking forward to defending my title here in New Delhi,” the reigning World Champion Zareen expressed her joy.
With Zareen finishing on top of the podium in the last edition earlier this year in Turkey, Indian women have clinched 39 medals, including 10 golds, in the 12 championships played so far.
When the country hosted the tournament last time in 2018 in New Delhi, Indian women claimed four medals.