Super Boxing League to go ahead even without BFI approval

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England's Olympic boxing medallist and two-time world champion, Amir Khan, is associated with the Super Boxing League (SBL). Fighters from his gymnasium in England will take part in the July 5-August 12 competition, to be staged between eight teams at Delhi's Siri Fort Complex.

According to owner and co-promoter Bill Dosanjh, eight teams named for the first edition are Delhi Gladiators, Mumbai Assasins, Haryana Warriors, Sher-E-Punjab, UP Terminators, North-East Tigers, Maratha Yodhas, Southern Super Kings.

Each squad will have 12 fighters, including six back-up boxers. Three foreign faces will feature in each team. Bouts will be staged on weekends, six bouts in six weight categories.

Even as the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has withdrawn support from the SBL, Dosanjh clarified that professional boxers do not need to take the federation permission. "A pro boxer like Vijender Singh is not required to get a nod from the Indian federation," he said. He mentioned that NRIs among Indian fighters ready to take part in the event.

Amir Khan was not present for the launch as he is undergoing treatment in Dubai for a recent injury. He conveyed a message via video. SBL will be telecast on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD and Sony Pictures Networks India joining as broadcast partner, informed the co-promoter. Teams taking part in the league are expected to open five gymnasiums across their respective territory over five years.