Amir credits India's system for rise in boxing, singles out Bidhuri for Olympic glory
New Delhi: Former Olympic medallist and professional star Amir Khan feels India has a robust system in place to keep producing good boxers for the world stage and singled out 2017 World Championship bronze-winner Gaurav Bidhuri for Olympic glory at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
The 32-year-old from Bolton, who clinched the WBC international welterweight title during a Super Boxing League (SBL) bout in Jeddah last week, believes India have the wherewithal to produce champions, who can follow the likes of Vijender Singh and MC Mary Kom. "Indian boxing is doing very good. What I like is that they have a system which not many countries have," Amir, who had knocked out Australian Billy Dib last Saturday, said during an interview.
"In India, all fighters get an opportunity to fight international tournaments, they are funded and they also get paid, because these boxers can't get jobs as they have to focus on boxing. All countries should follow this system. That's why they have Olympic medallists like Vijender and Mary Kom and many more will come from this, it will only inspire the next generation."
Asked if India can win a medal at the 2020 Olympics, the British-born boxer said: "One kid I follow is Gaurav Bidhuri, he is a very good boxer. I like his style, I like how he fights, how he pushes himself. I have seen his videos. This kid will get far, if he can stay focussed. He is in the national team and he made a lot of noises, he had some good performances," added Amir, a two-time world champion.
Bidhuri is only the fourth Indian boxer to get a medal at World Championship, claiming the bronze at the 2017 edition in Hamburg, Germany.
Speaking on other issues in boxing, Amir said it is a
shame that the AIBA was suspended last month and the International Olympic Committee took over the qualification and competition for the Tokyo Olympics.