The franchise-based league for Indian boxers that has been in the works since 2017 will finally the see the light of the day tentatively in July-August this year, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) announced Tuesday. The BFI had floated a tender for the commercial and organising rights for the pro-style league in 2017. It will run for a period of three weeks and will tentatively start at the end of July. “We are trying to organise it after the elections are over. In July-August,” said Atul Pande, Managing Director of Sportzlive, a Delhi-based sports management company that owns the rights of this league and the already-launched Premier Badminton League.
The tournament will see prolific Indian pugilists, including newly-crowned Asian Champion Amit Panghal, Shiva Thapa and veteran L Sarita Devi fight alongside foreign boxers. “A lot of Indian players have already signed up for the league. We are also in process of signing up international boxers to have mixed men and women international team,” Pande said. A caravan format, in which all teams move from one city to another during the course of the tournament, will be followed.
“The tournament will run for three weeks and the team owners, title sponsors, and everything will be finalised later. It will follow a caravan format, similar to other leagues in India,” Pande said. “We want the elections to get over because the interested franchises will make their final decision only after the results are announced,” he added. Star Sports has already been roped in as the official broadcaster of the event.
“It will be showcased on Star. The idea is to become the number one sporting event. Our target is to reach 10 crore viewers in the first year in television and 20 crores in digital,” Pande said.