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Boxing trials kicks off today

Patiala, Aug 26, 2013, PTI: 22:45 IST
 Vijender Singh
One delay and many speculations later, Indian boxers will fight it out for a place in the national team for the World Championships when the three-day trials start here on Tuesday.

With the Indian Boxing Federation suspended, they would not get to compete under the country’s flag but the boxers would nonetheless fight it out for a spot in the national team of 10 which would be sent to Almaty, Kazakhstan.

The Championships, where India have won two bronze medals -- in 2009 and 2011, would be held from October 11 to 27 in Almaty.

India’s participation hinges on the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) green signal as the world body is clearing the country’s schedule on a tournament-to-tournament basis due to the IBF’s provisional suspension.

The trials were initially scheduled from August 16 to 18 but had to be postponed, the reasons for which were never explained clearly by the IBF.

Before that could be figured out, star boxer Vijender Singh went on a short leave prompting speculation that the pugilist who brought home the first World Championships medal may altogether skip the trials.

But that rumour was put to rest by the man himself, who has returned to the city on Monday, ready to take the ring from Tuesday after attending to “some personal issues”.

His return would be keenly watched even as another comeback unfolds in the 52kg division.

Suranjoy Singh (52kg), who has been laid low by a knee injury after dominating the ring with eight back-to-back gold medals between 2010-11, would be back in the ring for perhaps his last shot at a World Championships medal. Also in fray is former Asian Championships silver-medallist Thokchom Nanao Singh (49kg) but he faces some very stiff competition from the likes of rising star L Devendro Singh.

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