Reforms give fillip to women's boxing

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Women's boxing is all set to feature in multi-discipline events, thanks to the reforms carried out by the Amateur International Boxing Federation.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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New Delhi:

Women's boxing is all set to make a debut in multi-discipline events, thanks to the reforms carried out by the Amateur International Boxing Federation (AIBA). "The points system, with the open scoring format. Here the fans can see it, but the players and officials can't. So that was one of the pre-requisites of the IOC. And more importantly, the Olympic Games involve both sexes in all disciplines, so we're hopeful," said Sidoni Antzel, Secretary, AIBA Women's Commission. The Indian Amateur Boxing Federation (IABF) also believes that women's boxing will find its rightful place. "With the AIBA President pushing for its case in the Commonwealth Games, and the Chief Minister of Delhi, Srimati Sheila Dixit also saying that women's boxing must be treated at par with the men's, there is no reason why it shouldn't be there. Especially if you see other such disciplines like Wrestling etc, women's boxing will soon find a place," said Col P K Muralidharan Raja, Secretary General, IABA. The International Olympic Committee, in fact, had stopped funding the AIBA, citing the lack of transparency and the spate of controversies regarding the scoring and judging system. But now, with the ongoing World Championships in New Delhi being hailed as the most successful and least controversial in decades, the IOC has changed its stance. That means female boxers are set to feature in the world's biggest sporting spectacle from 2012 onwards. "Ever since I took up boxing as a kid, I wanted to win medals on the biggest stage. But I was told it is not an Olympic sport. So now I'm very excited that it may be included in the Olympics. It's like a dream come true, for me," said Mary Spencer, Canadian boxer, 66 kg category. The wait, it seems, has finally come to an end for these athletes. The men's boxing event is a star attraction at most international tournaments, but now the women may soon get their due.