Nieva: ‘Asiad boxing squad to be out next month, trials only if needed’

The performances of the boxers in these sojourns, combined with their effort at the training camps, would make for their assessment when the teams are finalised for the Games.

“In case of weight categories, which are too close to call, trials would be held, for women on June 28 and men on June 29,” Sanitago Nieva said. (File Photo)   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

The Indian boxing team’s selection for 2018’s Asian Games will be completed by the end of June after an assessment of the pugilists’ international performance and trials would be held only if it is too close to call in any weight category, High-Performance Director Santiago Nieva revealed on Friday.

“The selection committee will meet on June 26 to discuss and finalise the squad. However, in case of weight categories, which are too close to call, trials would be held, for women on June 28 and men on June 29,” Nieva said after a meeting with the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), here, on Friday.

Different Indian boxing teams would be travelling to Ireland, Kazakhstan, Russia and Mongolia, starting this week, and the trips would include both training and competitions.

READ: Pacquiao says Matthysse bout to be ‘basis’ for retirement call

The performances of the boxers in these sojourns, combined with their effort at the training camps, would make for their assessment when the teams are finalised for the Games to be held in August-September in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang.

“The sincerity in the camp would be taken into account, besides the international performances would be very important. In case, fitness issues of, let’s say, the number one boxer force him to sit out of any event, he might get a chance in the trials. However, if the boxer concerned is below that ranking, he may not get that opportunity either. So, it is best to make the most of every opportunity one gets,” Nieva explained.

The Indian boxing team for April’s Commonwealth Games (CWG) was picked on the basis of a points system, which took some of the boxers by surprise and led to mild criticism as well.

ALSO READ: Neeraj to fight for second title next month

However, the system got the desired results as India produced its best ever show at the Gold Coast Games, ensnaring three gold, three silver and three bronze medals. In fact, all the eight male boxers finished on the podium, two of them — Vikas Krishan and Gaurav Solanki — fetching gold medals.

“I think it is a fair system of judging performances and should get us the best possible talent for the Games. The last date of submission of the squads to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is June 30,” he said.

At the Indonesia Asiad, the men’s categories that would be competed are 49kg, 52kg, 56kg, 60kg, 64kg, 69kg and 75kg. The featured women’s categories would be 51kg, 57kg and 60kg.

ALSO READ: It’s time to raise the game

“We are planning to have weekly fight nights so that all the boxers in the camp are constantly engaged and feel motivated. Besides, we are targetting larger talent pool, so that there is no complacency,” Nieva explained.

“The rankings of the boxers will soon be going up online so that everybody knows where they stand. The best available squad will travel to Indonesia,” he asserted.