Leading pugilists from 25 countries will be seen in action in the inaugural $100,000 Indian Open of Boxing to be held at the Thyagaraj Stadium New Delhi, from January 28 to February 1, Boxing Federation of India (BFI) announced on Wednesday.

Talking to media persons, at the launch of the Indian Open of Boxing along with the cast of upcoming Bollywood movie ‘Mukkabaaz’. in Delhi BFI president Ajay Singh said “We have the India Open for the first time in which 25 countries will take part t.” adding that four Indian teams across all 10 categories will take part in it.

“All the leading boxing nations like Cuba, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Russia have confirmed their participation “ he added

The gold medallists in the Indian Open will get $2,500 as prize money , the silver medallists will earn $1,000. The two bronze medallists in each category will receive by $500 each.

About the much awaited World Series of Boxing (WSB), ,the BFI chief said “We also have the World Series of Boxing (WSB) where India will be participating after a long gap. The home matches will be held on March 23 while the away matches will be in early February. We will be announcing the team very soon,” he said.

“We are also going to host the Elite women World Championships in November this year. Before that, we will have the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games,” he added.

Asked about the performance of Indian pugilists since the BFI took charge in September 2016,he admitted that there is still a lot to be achieved to turn the country into a boxing power house.”Boxing did not have an elected sports federation for many years. We have just had the BFI for the last one year. In this last one year, a lot of progress has been made. Indian boxers are winning medals across the world,” .

“We have coaching camps going on throughout the year in every category. We have an incredibly large number of championships that are being conducted.

“Recently, for the first time in our history, India conducted the Youth Women World Championship in Guwahati where our girls impressed with five gold and two bronze medals. Before this, India had just one bronze in the previous Women Youth Worlds. The world body AIBA said this was the best ever conducted championship, which was an incredible experience for us,”

The BFI president also made an passionate appeal to separate politics of every hue from sports as it has ruined many promising careers. Politics does not always means political inference, but playing politics with the careers of promising youngsters has different connotation”

Further elaborating he said “There is a lot of politics in sports… politics does keep a lot of sportspersons down and I think it’s a great shame and pity that in a country with 1.3 billion people we return from the Olympics with only two medals. This is a situation that really needs to be addressed and it can be done only when administrators are actually going to focus on the sports persons and not on themselves or the politics of the sport.”