In yet another milestone moment for boxing, India has been named as the host country for the 2023 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championship.
The announcement was made on Wednesday at a press conference in New Delhi where the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the International Boxing Association (IBA) and the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) in the presence of IBA President Umar Kremlev and BFI President Ajay Singh. Reigning world champion Nikhat Zareen was also present on the occasion.
Interestingly, it’s President Kremlev’s maiden visit to India. Ever since taking over the office in 2020, Kremlev has been playing a vital role in developing the sport across the globe.
“This is my first visit and it is been fantastic so far. India is very passionate about boxing and conducting the World Championship here will be the perfect opportunity to celebrate the innumerable victories as well as inspire many more women to take up the sport and popularise the game more than ever. BFI has worked effortlessly to develop boxing in India and the region and I’m sure they will stage an event to remember,” said IBA President Umar Kremlev in an official statement released by BFI.
BFI & IBA will be working to introduce a historic bout review system at the Championships. The event will see a total prize pool of approximately INR 19.50 crore ($2.4 million) and the gold medallists will be awarded with approximately INR 81 lakh ($100,000).
Boxing in India has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years. India has been regularly finishing amongst the top 5 countries in recent global and multi-event competitions like the World Championships, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. The opportunity to host the upcoming World Championships is also a testament to the efforts put in by the BFI in developing the sport in the country and the position it holds on the global stage.
“We are delighted that New Delhi has been named as the host for the World Championships 2023. Hosting three major championships in seven years showcases India’s ability to build infrastructure and capabilities. This is also a reflection of the trust and importance of India in the world of boxing. A tournament of this stature also helps empower women in India giving them the belief to take up sport too,” said BFI President Ajay Singh.
“We also welcome IBA President Mr Umar Kremlev to India. In a short span of time, he has been able to bring in a new level of dynamism to the sport. IBA and BFI share the same goals of taking boxing to the next level and we are really looking forward to working together,” he added.
It will be the third Women’s World Championships to be conducted in India and the second one within a span of six years. Since the inception of the Championships in 2001, the prestigious biennial event took place twice in India – in 2006 and 2018, both times in New Delhi. India also hosted the Women’s Youth World Championships in 2017.
“I’m super excited and really looking forward to playing in front of the home crowds. Hosting an event of this stature is hugely prestigious and always inspires millions of young girls to take up the sport. The countdown has already begun and I am looking forward to defending my title here in New Delhi,” the reigning World Champion Zareen expressed her joy.
With Zareen finishing on top of the podium in the last edition earlier this year in Turkey, Indian women have clinched 39 medals, including 10 golds, in the 12 championships played so far.