Sarita pumped up ahead of maiden pro bout

Former World champion L. Sarita Devi will take on Hungary's Zsofia Bedo in front of her home crowd in Imphal on January 20. The 31-year-old, of course, is excited ahead of her first professional bout.

sarita devi

"That's going to be the biggest day of my career," said L. Sarita Devi of her maiden professional bout on January 29 in her home town, Imphal.   -  R. V. Moorthy

Former World boxing champion L. Sarita Devi will take on Hungary's Zsofia Bedo in her maiden professional bout in Imphal on January 29.

Zsofia, ranked 29th in the world, is a formidable fighter. The 29-year-old Hungarian, who is known for knocking out her opponents, has won 19 of her 59 professional bouts.

On her maiden pro bout, 31-year-old Sarita, who is honing her skills under renowned coach Joe Clough in Rohtak, said, "I am training hard and am going to fight harder. Turning professional is not just about winning or losing a couple of bouts. The most important decision of my career is also a mission for me. I didn't want to start against any average opponent.

"I am entering the professional circuit quite late in my career. I will have to make longer strides to achieve my goals. The stronger the opponent, the better are the chances to improve my pro rankings."

On her fight at the Khuman Lampak Sports Complex indoor arena, Imphal, Sarita said, "Manipur is the land of warriors. We people love combat sports. Boxing lovers are going to turn up for my bout in big numbers. That's going to be the biggest day of my career for the reason that I have never had an opportunity to contest such a big bout in front of my home crowd. There is going to be an extra pressure. But that also pumps up the adrenaline."

Sarita is eyeing an Asian title belt over the next six to eight months before moving on to her ultimate goal of becoming India's first professional world champion boxer.