Pro-boxing has landed here and why not ? The venue is just right, for though Manipur has not produced internationally well known professional boxers, the young pugilists from the State have been making a name for themselves in the international circuit. Difficult to say when the boxing fever caught on, but rewind to 1998 and everyone will remember how Imphal rose as one to greet the stupendous showing of Ngangom Dingko Singh when he won the gold in the Bangkok Asian Games. Before this, Dingko had won the King’s Cup in 1997 in Bangkok and apart from winning the title, he was adjudged the best boxer of the tournament. It was not only Dingko Singh who kept the flag of Manipur and India flying in the international circuit, for remember Mary Kom came along the way winning five World Championship titles and the bronze in the London Olympics in 2012. The good showing did not end with the Olympic bronze for Mary Kom went to box her way to the gold in the Incheon Asian Games in 2014. It is not for nothing why the Narendra Modi Government decided to nominate her to the Rajya Sabha as a Member of Parliament. And it remains that Mary Kom the boxer will never be complete without a reference to Laishram Sarita Devi who had to settle for the bronze at the Incheon Asian Games in a rather controversial manner. Former world champion and to ring out the message that her career is far from over, Sarita has opted to go professional and is set to take on veteran professional Hungarian boxer Zsofia Bedo at Khuman Lampak Indoor Stadium.
To be conducted under the aegis of Indian Boxing Council, the Pro-Boxing Fight Night has all the ingredients of a tough line up for all the boxers including six from India. Out of the six, three will be making their professional debut-Laishram Sarita, Pinki Jangra and veteran Som Bahadur Poon. Tough to say how Sarita will fare in the match against the 59 pro-bout veteran Zsofia Bedo, but judging from the past, it will be an interesting match. One a seasoned pro and the other a veteran of many bouts in different arenas, but making her professional debut. It has also been interesting to see how the two have sized up each other with both talking tough and running down the other. This is all part of the game, but professional boxing will be very different from amateur boxing and how Sarita makes the transition will be interesting to watch. More than obvious that in pro-boxing, it is not only about participating but winning. A line which must have been drilled into the heads of all sportspersons across the world, but something which is unfortunately lacking in India, best demonstrated by the poor show at the Olympics and other international sporting events. The die is cast and by the time readers get to read this commentary, it will be known how Sarita has fared in her pro-boxing debut.
Source: The Sangai Express