Mary Kom and other Indian boxers expected to shine at the World Championships
MC Mary Kom and India's finest will be hoping to win world titles over the coming weeks in Russia at the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships for men (Yekaterinburg, September 7-21), and AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships (Ulan Ude October 3-13).
Indian women have won nine golds at previous worlds, with Kom and Sanita Rani among the four gold medallists from the 2006 edition in New Delhi.
India's men have won a total of four bronze medals at previous Worlds and will be keen to improve on that tally at the championships in Russia, which do not serve as direct qualifiers for Tokyo 2020 after AIBA was stripped of its Olympic status as a sport governing body.
MC Mary Kom
No list of boxing medal prospects would be complete without the legendary Manipuri boxer MC Mary Kom.
She is the nation’s most successful pugilist, winning six world titles as well as bronze at London 2012.
Counting against her, as it did at London 2012, is that Kom has moved up to flyweight (51kg) from her usual category of light-flyweight to compete in the Olympics.
Kom did take victory at the recent President's Cup in Indonesia at 51kg, and will be hoping to carry that form into October's World Championships.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medallist from Haryana is a bright spark for the Indian boxing fraternity to look up to.
Kaushik defeated one of India’s best lightweight (63kg) boxers, 2015 world bronze medallist Shiva Thapa, in the trials to book his place at the World Boxing Championships, and he'll be keen to emulate Thapa by reaching the podium in Russia.
He may be only 23 years old, but Panghal has already created waves in Indian boxing circles.
The Haryana fighter took light flyweight silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and followed that up with gold in the Asian Games.
He has made further progress since moving up to flyweight this year, beating Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov on his way to taking gold at the Asian Boxing Championships in Bangkok in April.
Panghal was given a direct entry into the Indian squad for the World Boxing Championships due to his spectacular performances this season, and he could be India's best hope of gold in Yekaterinburg.
Laishram Sarita Devi
An Indian boxing stalwart, Sarita Devi has been a consistent performer over a variety of weight classes.
She won light bantamweight bronze at the World Championships in 2005 before taking gold the following year on home soil in New Delhi at bantamweight.
She won another light bantamweight bronze in 2008 before moving up through the divisions to lightweight (60kg), taking silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and bronze at the 2017 South Asian Games.
The 37-year-old took bronze at this year's Asian Championships and will be hoping to make her experience tell as she seeks her first World Championship medal for 11 years.
Participating in the Super Heavyweight (91kg+) category, Kumar is considered to be one of India’s medal prospects for Tokyo 2020.
Kumar won bronze at the 2014 Asian Games as well a silver in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and would be looking to convert that into another medal at the World Boxing Championships.