More than 25 countries will be participating in the India Open Boxing Championship, said Ajay Singh, President, Boxing Federation of India (BFI) of India on Wednesday.
"India Open is happening for the first time and it will see participation from more than 25 countries. Al the boxing nations of the world are going to be in this championship. Like Cuba, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Russia," Singh told ANI.
He said the $100,000 India Open will be starting on January 28 at Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi.
"India will field four teams in this championship. So, a lot of our boxers will get international experience," the BFI president said.
When asked about the concept behind Indian Open Tournament, Singh said, "We believe that it is important that India host championships of international calibre every year as that gives a great experience to our boxers, officials and organisers. India must build its organisational ability as well as bring up the sport in the country. We are trying to have tournaments of international level that will happen every year."
He added, "India hosted world championship for youth women extremely well. India also won 5 gold and two bronze medals, which is a record as India has never performed like this in a world championship. This year India will also be hosting the elite senior women championship in New Delhi."
He also said that India will put up a good show in the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and in the world championships that are going to happen.
"India will also participate in the World Series Boxing after several years. The matches will be held in India and the first one will be held on March 23. A lot of action in boxing is to happen throughout the year. And, there is no question that with the kind of preparations, match practice and the priority to the players; the performance is going to be good as it has been over the last one year," Singh said.
When asked whether politics was hampering sports, the BFI President said the sports federations should focus on sports and not on politics.
"Focus needs to be really on the sportspersons. There are many federations that are focusing on the sport and the results are there for everyone to see. There are five or six sports that are doing well and are improving every day; there are some that need more work," Singh said.
He added federations need to focus on supporting sportspersons in every way.