Sweden’s Santiago Nieva to be India’s new boxing coach

Santiago Nieva coached Sweden till the end of the Rio Olympics. He will be with the Indian team till the World Championships this year. His contract may be extended after that.

Representative image.   -  AP

The International Boxing Association’s coaches commission vice-chairman Santiago Nieva will be India’s new coach for men boxers, filling a position left vacant by Cuban B. I. Fernandes in 2014.

“Mr Nieva has been recommended by AIBA to us and he comes with good experience. I am confident of good results,” said Boxing Federation of India (BFI) Boxing Federation of India president Ajay Singh.

Nieva, an AIBA three star coach, was with the Swedish men’s team until the end of Rio Olympics.

The Sweden-based Nieva will coach till the World Championships this year. The federation will take a call on the extension of his contract.

The World Championships are scheduled from August 25 to September 3 in Hamburg, Germany.

He will be arriving in India on Monday and take charge in Patiala, where one of the two national camps is being held.

“Mr Nieva is originally from Argentina and he will take charge immediately. Our second camp is going on in Aurangabad but we are pruning the number of boxers from 80 to 60 for one consolidated camp. So there will be only one camp and the venue for it will be decided soon,” BFI secretary general Jay Kowli said.

The 42-year-old, a former bantam and featherweight boxer, served as the Swedish national coach for eight years and was inducted into the AIBA coaches commission in 2015.

Nieva has also served as a manager of the Argentine boxing team and even competed for the country at the 1997 World Cup.

His appointment in India comes just days before the trials for next month’s Asian Championships. The event is to be held from April 30 to May 7 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

The BFI is also looking to bring in a foreign coach for women but no name has been finalised for the job yet.

In another development, BFI president Ajay Singh has been elected member of the Asian Boxing Confederation.

“This is not about me, it is about the country. They are recognising India as an important nation and that’s what matters,” Singh said, responding to his appointment.