The past few weeks have been big for Indian boxing with the advent of the Big Bout League - a franchise based tournament headlined by some of the biggest pugilists in the country as well as numerous established boxers from all around the world.
The likes of Mary Kom, Amit Panghal, Manoj Kumar, and Nikhat Zareen have all participated in the Big Bout League, giving the audience many mouth-watering clashes.
Here’s a look at how India’s main men’s pugilists have performed at the Big Bout League.
Undefeated Amit Panghal
Reigning World Championships silver medallist Amit Panghal continued to impress in the inaugural season of the Big Bout Season. Plying his trade for the Gujarat Giants team, Panghal continued his fine form winning all his bouts for this franchise so far.
The 24-year-old started his campaign against fellow Indian pugilist PL Prasad, picking up a comfortable victory, before defeating foreign boxers Laldin Mawia and Jasurbek Latipov in his subsequent bouts.
Alongside Panghal, the rest of his teammates have also performed brilliantly, thereby helping the Gujarat Giants become the first team in the tournament to book their spot for the semifinals.
Mixed bag for Manoj Kumar
In the men’s 69kg category, 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar has been the star performer for his franchise NCR Punjab Panthers. He started off his campaign with a stunning win against Duryodhan Singh Negi, who had impressed all in the AIBA World Boxing Championships a few months back.
In his second bout, however, Manoj narrowly emerged second best in a closely contested contest against Naveen Boora of Bombay Bullets. But, the 33-year-old boxer, who is the reigning Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, came back stronger after that loss as he claimed a comfortable victory in his next bout against J Rakhmonov of Uzbekistan. Manoj’s franchise are currently third on the points table and seems destined to make it to the semifinals.
Struggle for Gaurav Bidhuri
The 26-year-old pugilist from Delhi has struggled to live up to expectations in the maiden season of the Big Bout League. He was signed by the Bengaluru Brawlers as one of their marquee Indian boxers, but he started off his campaign with a loss against Gaurav Solanki in a closely contested bout.
Bidhuri lost his second bout, losing on split majority in a close fight against Kavinder Singh Bisht in the men’s 57kg category. The Indian pugilist turned the tables in his next bout against Etash Khan, but injured his nose in that contest which forced him to later withdraw from the competition.
Apart from these three, India’s Kavinder Singh Bisht and Ashish Kumar have had good outings in the Big Bout league, winning most of their matches. India’s other key boxers like Manish Kaushik and Vikas Krishan have, however, decided to give this competition a skip.