India has lost a good Olympics medal prospect: Jay Kowli
Former Boxing India Secretary Jay <g data-gr-id="32">Kowli</g> feels that the country has lost a good medal prospect at next year's Rio Olympics after <g data-gr-id="37">star</g> boxer Vijender Singh joined the professional circuit on Monday.
"I feel India's mission for the Rio Olympics has lost a good prospect. He's an extraordinary boxer who has survived for three Olympics which speaks volumes of his fitness," said <g data-gr-id="41">Kowli</g>, who is in the world body AIBA-nominated ad-hoc committee headed by Kishen Narsi to oversee boxing in India.
Professionals cannot compete in the Olympics as per AIBA's regulations and Vijender, who announced his decision in London to join the pro ranks on Monday, will thus be ineligible to take part in next year's Rio Games.
"It must be a very sound business decision. He's not new to business deals, contracts etc.. I am sure he must have gauged all that and taken that step. If he's going for a very big deal, then I am happy for him," said <g data-gr-id="39">Kowli</g> about the 2008 Olympic bronze medal winner's decision to cross the line.
"This reaction is based on the limited information that we are learning from the news. I know nothing about his contract details," he explained.
"At the same time it feels sad. I was expecting him to qualify for Olympics, looking at his fitness and intelligence as a boxer. Surviving in boxing in three Olympics is a great achievement in itself. Even at London, reaching the <g data-gr-id="31">quarter finals</g> was not easy.
"I was counting him in. He and (2012 London Games bronze winner) Mary Kom have repeatedly proved their critics wrong. Every time people would say that they are finished they will come back with something," said <g data-gr-id="33">Kowli</g>. Vijender's decision has left a hole in Indian boxing, said <g data-gr-id="34">Kowli</g>, adding there were other talents in the country too.
"Of course we have a lot of talent in India but yes, it will certainly create a void for some time. Other hungry, <g data-gr-id="38">starry eyed</g> boxers can look for this slot. But getting into pro boxing is not easy even for established amateur boxers who have to reach Vijender's heights.