Manipuri boxer Sarjubala Devi (middle) Credit: Twitter

New Delhi: Former world championships silver-medallist Sarjubala Devi is all set to make her debut in the professional circuit on February 26, when she will take on Tanzania’s Kayage Lulu Gaithabi in a 51kg category showdown in Dubai.

Former world championships silver-medallist Sarjubala Devi is all set to make her debut in the professional circuit on February 26, when she will take on Tanzania’s Kayage Lulu Gaithabi in a 51 kg category showdown in Dubai. The 31-year-old Kayage has seven wins against six losses in her professional career.

“I have been training really well. Although it is the same sport, there is a lot of difference in amateur and professional boxing. I used to box three rounds earlier, now it is going to be six rounds, so I am preparing myself for it,” the Manipuri pugilist, who was also a multiple-time national medallist during her amateur days, said in a statement.

“It is not just skills; it is a lot more than that. Since the bouts are longer with more rounds, endurance is a big requirement.”

“Apart from the regular gym workouts, I am also going for long runs with my trainers, so that I have the endurance for Pro fights. It is exhaustive, but I am enjoying it,” she added.

The 28-year-old also hoped that amateur boxers find more support for turning professional from the Boxing Federation of India.

“As per rules, only the number one boxer in each category in the country gets to represent the country at international tournaments. When the top boxer plays the international tournament, the second and third-ranked players don’t get an opportunity to play.”

“I feel the Boxing Federation of India should allow amateur boxers to fight Pro bouts when they are not representing the country. This will help them stay fit for international exposure and at the same time earn some, as most of the boxers in India come from humble backgrounds,” she said.

Apart from Sarjubala’s professional debut, the evening in Dubai will also feature India versus Pakistan fights.

Promoter Mujtaba Kamal feels the cards have the potential to be a big hit in the Pro boxing scene.

The fight card features three current WBC India number one boxers in their respective weight divisions — Faizan Anwar (WBC India Rank 1, Welter Weight), Lalrinsanga Tlau (WBC Youth World Champion & WBC India Rank 1, Super Featherweight), Nutlai Lalbiakkima (WBC India Rank 1, Minimum Weight).

The promoter said the bouts will offer handsome purses to the boxers.

“It is first-of-its-kind money for Indian and Pakistani boxers. On an average, the boxers are going to take USD 2500-USD 3000 after the bout. Also, we have made the fights live on pay-per-view.”

“Each boxer will get around 7-10 per cent from the subscription amount. This has never happened in the history of Indian and Pakistan Pro boxing,” he said.

The fight card:

Faizan Anwar (IND) vs Yameen Khan (PAK)

Sarjubala Devi (IND) vs Lulu Kayage (TAN)

Lalrinsanga Tlau (IND) vs Muhammad Sikandar Abbasi (PAK)

Nutlai Lalbiakkima (IND) vs Fida Muhammad (PAK)

Laldingliana (IND) vs Muhammad Ammar Khan (PAK)

Shaikhom Rebaldo Singh (IND) vs Mukhtiar Ahmed Kakar (PAK).

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