Indian pugilists raring to have a go at World Cup

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Patiala, Nov 18 (UNI) High on confidence, Indian pugilists Akhil Kumar, Jitender and A L Lakra will vie for the honours in the forthcoming boxing World Cup slated to be held at Russia from December 9-12.

All the three boxers are currently undergoing intensive training at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NIS) here in preparation for the world cup.

Another pugilist Vijender Kumar, who won a bronze medal in the Beijing Olympics is too in the ongoing national coaching camp, but he has voluntarily opted out of the World Cup Boxing since he has missed most of the training ever since he returned from Beijing Olympics.

''Vijender is not fully prepared for the World Cup Boxing,'' one of the coaches in the national camp told UNI.

The camp started on October 6 and Vijender has been away from Patiala, attending functions in his honour and felicitations.

India is likely to field only three boxers, all hot contenders in the World Cup- Akhil Kumar, Jitender and A L Lakra, in all probability.

Six national coaches are supervising the national camp here which has 46 boxers. The camp ends on December 8.

Presently, the morale of the Indian boxers is very high and chief national coach G S Sandhu must be dreaming of a medal or two in the World Cup.

Till date, India has twice won a medal in the World Cup Boxing. In 1990, Zoram Thanga (Mizoram) won a bronze medal in World Cup Boxing at Bombay, and again in 1994 Dev Raj (Railway Sports Control Board) won a bronze medal in World Cup Boxing at Bangkok.

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