New Delhi [India], March 23 (ANI): The highly-competitive World Series of Boxing comes to India for the first time, with the National Boxing Academy in Rohtak set to host an explosive clash between the Indian Tigers and the Astana Arians from Kazakhastan on Saturday.
The Indian team's campaign will be led by Sanjeet (+91 kg), who recently overturned the odds and defeated heavyweights to punch his way to the gold medal in the recently-held India Open. He will be taking on Abikhair Turlanbekov in a clash of titans.
Sanjeet didn't have such a great start. losing to the star boxer from the Patriot Boxing Team from Russia.
The Astana Arians, however, begin as overwhelming favourites. They are not only the WSB reigning champions but had also beaten the Indians in the first leg. Tigers will hope to ride on strong home support, with vociferous local fans expected to fill up the ring and cheer every Indian pugilist in the five-bout card.
"It is a great opportunity for boxing fans to watch world class boxers fight from close quarters. It will be doubly exciting as Professional Boxing is being held here for the first time," BFI President Ajay Singh said.
The Indian Tigers will be served by India Open silver medalist, 21-year-old Shyam Kumar Kakara (49-kg), who will take on Temitras Zhussopov in a high-octane light flyweight clash. In the 56kg weight category, 2017 Asian Youth Championships bronze-medallist Etash Khan will look to make his debut on the WSB circuit with a bang.
However, it would not be easy as he is up against veteran Nursultan Koshchegulov of the Astana Arlans. Greenhorns of the team, Ashish Kumar (75kg) and Dheeraj Singh (64kg) will look to avoid defeats against 2017 World Championship silver-medalist Abhikov Amankul and Dilmurat Mizhitov respectively.
In the opening two clashes, the Indian Tigers (C2) slumped to identical 1-4 losses, first going down to the Arlans and then succumbing to the Patriot Boxing Team in Russia (C1).(ANI)