Franchisee owners of the newly-launched Super Boxing League pose before cameras at a city hotel yesterday
Mufeed Mahdi Rizvi
his was long due. As we see boxing on the rise, worldwide, Super Boxing League's (SBL) foray into the Indian territory could be just at the right time.
In the absence of its mascot, co-promoter and two-time world champion Amir Khan, owner-promoter and British businessman Bill Dosanjh launched the eight-team SBL yesterday.
Last week, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) stood firmly behind this independent, professional venture, before it pulled out due to opposition from the newly-elected Boxing Federation of India.
Dosanjh, however, said SBL will be held as per the schedule - from July 7 to August 12 in Delhi.
"It's a professional league and we are open for everyone. We don't have to get anyone's approval," Dosanjh said at the unveiling of SBL teams and owners yesterday.
"We are affiliated to WBC (World
Boxing Council) and Amir Khan's academy has enough boxing talent. We also have lots of NRI fighters based in London, US and Canada," the British businessman said when asked where will he get the boxers from, if BFI refuses to release their bunch.
BFI has restricted its boxers from participating in the national camps from being a part of the SBL. "They have discussed with us but we have not agreed to support this. So our boxers will not participate. BFI intends to start its own league," Ajay Singh, BFI president, was quoted as saying recently.
BFI secretary Jay Kowli, although, made it clear that BFI was not against the league and said it will only help boxing grow in this country. Kowli's statement came with riders, "As our president said, we are planning our own Indian Boxing League by the end of this year. Remember, we are not control freaks, but the league is run by businessmen who will not be accountable to anyone.
"BFI is an accountable organisation whose priority is the future of the boxer, their safety. While SBL is
more like a business deal," Kowli told Mirror from Tashkent, further adding, "We appreciate the effort put in by Amir Khan and Bill Dosanjh and we wish them luck."
SBL fight will be held over the weekends beginning July 7 at the Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi carrying prize money worth Rs four crore.
About Super Boxing Lea;
? SBL will feature eight teams and each team will comprise six boxers ? five men and one woman. A maximum of three foreign boxers will be allowed per team
The team will also have six backup boxers
? Each franchise has committed Rs 6 crore ? including Rs 3 crore as franchise fees
Beginning with the inaugural season in Delhi, the second edition will be held in Mumbai and home and away concept is likely to begin from third season onwards.
? Each weekend of SBL will see six
bouts in six weight categories
? A bout will have four rounds of three minutes each
SBL is also planning a promotional bout between Amir Khan and India's star amateur-turned-professional boxer Vu'ender Singh.
a The teams:
Mumbai Assassins, Delhi Gladiators, Haryana Warriors, Sher-E-Punjab, UP Terminators, North East Tigers, Maratha Yoddhas and Southern Super Kings
t Telecast: Sony Pictures Networks India as the broadcast partner
Boxing league punches in
Despite no BFI backing, Amir Khan-promoted Super Boxing League hopes to set the ring on fire