In a first for women’s boxing in India, former world champion and Asian Games bronze-medallist L Sarita Devi has decided to turn professional but will not give up on the amateur circuit either if the Boxing Federation of India allows her.
The 31-year-old multiple-time Asian champion decided to take the plunge by signing up a two-year deal with the commercial partners of Indian Boxing Council (IBC) – a licensing body for professional boxers in the country – Sporty Boxing Private Limited.
“I have been competing in the amateur circuit for a long time, more than a decade, I won medals in all the events barring Olympics. Now I feel I want to try something new so I have decided to turn professional,” Sarita, a lightweight (60kg) boxer, said.
“I want to challenge myself and turning professional has been on my mind for a long time. There is no amateur competition for women next year and I want to give the 2018 Asian Games a shot to undo the wrong that was done to me in 2014,” added the Manipuri, referring to her controversial semifinal loss in the Incheon edition of the Games.
Sarita had to endure a year-long ban after she protested her loss by breaking down on the podium and refusing to accept her medal. If all goes well, Sarita could be making her debut on January 19 next year against a yet-to-be-named foreign opponent.