There is a small revolution going on in India with boxing ready to take centre stage as the nation seeks to take its place at the sport's top table. The country's economic growth and financial muscle has seen heavy investment made in sport within a country that counts the second largest population in the world.
India's boxing icon, Vijender Singh became a national hero after securing a historical bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games then another at the 2009 AIBA World Championships in Milan. However with his Olympic quota place for London 2012 still not secured, the upcoming AIBA Asian Olympic Qualifying Event in Astana in April will be make-or-break for Singh. Many predict though that the strong experienced Indian Middleweight will do the business. He has really set the standard for Indian boxing but others are following his lead, ready to take the world by storm.
Super talented AIBA Youth World Champion and Asian Games winner Vikas Krishan Yadav competed in his first AIBA World Championships in Baku and collected a sensational bronze medal. The rising 19-year-old star is the best prospect to come out of India to date and this talent is a ranked outsider to take an Olympic gold in London and in the process rewrite history. Watch out for him this year.
India has other up-and-coming fighters to look out for, including 19-year-old Light Flyweight Devendro Laishram Singh, Asian Championships silver medallist Jai Bhagwan Singh and Commonwealth Games winner Manoj Kumar, with all having already booked their places to make their Olympic debuts at the London 2012 Games.
Former Asian Champion Suranjoy Mayengbam Singh, Beijing Olympian Dinesh Kumar, Asian Games silver medallist Manpreet Singh and India's Super Heavyweight No.1 and Commonwealth Games winner Paramjeet Samota, all stand good chances of reaching the required qualification places at the forthcoming AIBA Asian Olympic Qualifying Event in Astana which starts on 4 April 2012. So the nation could have an incredible line-up in London come the 27 July.
Five-time AIBA World Champion Chungneijang Mary Kom is a living legend in India. The top female boxer moved up two weight classes in order to secure her place in history as women's boxing makes its debut at the London Olympics. Her compatriots are also strong fighters and have good chances of representing the country in each of the three weight divisions on offer at the XXX Olympiad. India's 18-year-old rising star Sarjubala Shamjetsabam Devi and Minu Basumatary both became gold medallist at the inaugural AIBA Women's Youth World Championships in Antalya. Light flyweight No.1 Devi looks sure to join up with the Indian national elite squad in 2012.
This new generation in Indian boxing also sees Youth Olympic Games silver medallist Shiva Thapa, National Elite Champion 18-year-old Sumit Sangwan, Agalarov Youth Cup winner Ajay Kumar and AIBA Junior World Championships silver medallist Naveen Kumar all looking to make the grade.
India's new World Series of Boxing Franchise, the Venky's Mumbai Fighters are currently taking part in the competition's second season and their young boxers will increase their international experiences in this extremely competitive league. It all bodes well for the future of this nation.
Copyright © 2012 AIBA http://www.aiba.org