The annual convention of the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) at Puerto Rico earlier today presented good news for Indian boxing fans. The Indian Boxing Council (IBC), a licensing body for the country's professional boxers, was inducted into the WBC on Wednesday with voting rights.
John Duggan, the second vice president, introduced a new representative from the recently formed IBC, Brigadier P. K. M. Raja. This came after the elections in which seven candidates ran for four vacancies on the executive committee.
Markus Aslani, Rafael Lopez Santos, Igotr Mazurov and John Handelaar were elected over Marion Palatin, Thomas Puetz, and Edoardo. Luis Batista Salas, the WBO founder, welcomed the Indian body to the WBO fold in the convention.
According to FightNews, the President of the IBC, who is from Mumbai, discussed his achievements and shortcomings in amateur boxing. He also revealed the plans for the future of professional boxing in India.
“We are hoping China and India, with their vast history of martial arts, embrace western boxing,” Duggan said. “We can only think of more great things to come.”
As reported by PTI, Brig. Raja was overjoyed that the IBC was welcomed into the WBO and expressed happiness at how this gives an opportunity for Indian pugilists to take part in WBO events.
He said, "I am extremely delighted that the Indian Boxing Council has been formally welcomed into the WBO fold. This paves the way for Indian Boxers to participate in WBO Events and be eligible to compete for WBO Asia Pacific as well as WBO World Titles."
He also gushed with pride at how several significant boxing promoters were now seeking an association with the IBC.
Raja said, "It was a momentous occasion for me as President of IBC when many prominent Boxing Promoters from Asia, Europe, America and Africa congratulated me immediately after the WBO announcement and expressed their keen interest to join hands with Indian Boxing Council for the promotion of professional boxing in India."
The managing director and CEO of Infinity Optimal Solutions (IOS), Neeraj Tomar, attended the convention as well. Indian star pugilist Vijender Singh, who is promoted by the IOS, is the reigning WBO Asia-Pacific super middleweight champion.