Diwakar Prasad takes the plunge into pro-boxing

Diwakar Prasad, whose amateur career was hampered by illnesses at crucial junctures, signed up with IOS Boxing Promotions along with former national champion Madan Lal and 11 others boxers.

Indian_boxers

Indian boxers (from left to right) Pawan Mann, Amandeep Singh, Neeraj Goyat and Diwakar Prasad during a media interaction New Delhi on Tuesday.   -  PTI

Diwakar Prasad has decided to join pro-boxing, signing up with IOS Boxing Promotions, which manages the likes of Vijender Singh and Akhil Kumar. Besides him, Madan Lal and 11 others have also signed up with the firm.

“Five years ago, professional boxing did not have the kind of presence that it has now in India. So I am finally getting a chance to experience what it would be like,” said Diwakar, who has the experience of competing in the International Boxing Association’s semi-professional World Series of Boxing.

Of the 13 who signed up, most of the boxers are already competing in the professional circuit, the most notable being Neeraj Goyat - the reigning WBC Asia Pacific welterweight champion. “It is a great step for my professional career. I am doing pro-boxing for the last six years and I thought joining hands with IOS would give a fillip to my career,” said Neeraj, who had been boxing under the Professional Boxing Organisation of India (PBOI) banner till now.

16 boxers enrol under IOS

Neeraj has fought 12 bouts in the circuit, winning eight. Amandeep Singh, another PBOI boxer, also signed up with IOS after the two bodies decided to join hands. IOS Director Gaurav Tomar said the company now has 16 boxers on its roster - including the WBO super-middleweight Asia Pacific champion Vijender - and that they will train at an academy in Gurgaon.

“Vijender is already in India and his entourage will be joining him soon here. The other boxers will also have a dedicated support staff at the academy being developed by us.”

The 13 who joined in on Tuesday also included Pawan Mann, an unbeaten MMA fighter. Mann has fought five professional fights in the Super Fight League under the Welterweight category and the Lightweight category and has been named the champion in both categories. “I used to be an amateur boxer before turning to MMA. I quit amateur boxing because of politics which affects selection. Now, professional boxing is giving me another chance to go back to my first love which is boxing,” he said.