Indian boxer Neeraj Goyat to defend WBC Asia title against Ben Kite
Indian boxing is set to receive a boost next Saturday as Neeraj Goyat looks to defend his WBC Asia title against Australia's Ben Kite. The bout between the two will be a ticketed event to be held at the Talkatora Stadium and both will look to inch closer to a shot at the world title.
Neeraj claimed the title in 2015 and this year he is up against a rare greenhorn rival. Having won 7 of his 11 bouts, he holds an upper hand on the comparatively less experienced Kite who has just won 5 of his 9 bouts.
The 26-year-old Kite turned pro in 2014 and is all set to take on the Indian boxer in a venue that also hosted the 2010 Commonwealth Games boxing event.
Also read: Boxer Goyat moves closer to Olympic berth
As reported in The Times of India, the 24-year-old welterweight Indian spoke about the importance of the bout and how he could enter the WBC rankings. Neeraj said, “This is a very important bout for me because if I win on Saturday, then I would enter the WBC rankings and that would give me a chance to aim for the world title. It is going to be a 12-round contest as is the norm in WBC."
Kite indulged in a little bit of pre-match banter that is common in professional boxing. He also has similar ambitions in his mind as he was quoted saying, “It's a huge fight for me and I am really excited for Saturday, it will open a whole lot of opportunities for me. Neeraj is a tough guy but come Saturday, I will change that. I will show him that I am tougher."
The Australian said that he knew of the massive rivalry between India and Australia in cricket and was certain that the crowd will enjoy the rivalry in boxing as well. He said, “I know the India-Australia rivalry is quite big in cricket and I am sure people will also enjoy the rivalry in boxing."
A couple of months back the WBO Asia title bout between Vijender Singh and Kerry Hope had generated huge interest and it witnessed a sell-out crowd which included film stars, cricketers and famous politicians. This event, which also features three undercard bouts, will look to replicate the previous event's commercial success although the hype is not quite the same.
An official of the Professional Boxing Organisation of India said, "We are expecting a good crowd because the response to the online ticket sales has been good."