The boxing nationals start in Bellary from September 15, and a World Championship berth is at stake for elite Indian boxers. Only gold medal winners will get a chance to represent the country at the world event. Shiva Thapa is one of the biggest names participating in the event.
About top 400 boxers from the country are set to participate in the men’s national boxing championship 2021, which will get underway on Wednesday at the Inspire Institute of Sports in Bellary, Karnataka. There is a lot to play for as the gold medallists from the competition will get a chance to represent India at the world championship, to be held from October 26 in Belgrade, Serbia.
Indian Olympians from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics -- Amit Panghal and Manish Kaushik, along with the three others have decided to skip the event.
Meanwhile, all eyes will be on five-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa, 2017 world championships bronze-winner Gaurav Bidhuri and Commonwealth Games medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin.
Shiva, a seasoned boxer from Assam, will participate in the 63kg category, and was last seen in action at the Asian boxing championships in Dubai in May. The youngster had won silver there. Following the nationals, the medallists will get into the national camp, starting from September 21.
In addition, the third-placed boxers will have to compete in a selection trial for a spot in the camp. Also, what is new this year is that the nationals will be conducted in 13 weight categories, instead of 10. The new weight divisions for men are 48kg, 51kg, 54kg, 57kg, 60kg, 63.5kg, 67kg, 71kg, 75kg, 80kg, 86kg, 92kg, and +92kg.
One other change will be the return of headguards, so that the boxers can be protected just before the World Championships.