‘Our boxers need to train more abroad’

With Abhay Chautala opting not to contest for the post of president during the election of the Indian Boxing Federation in their annual general meeting (AGM) held few days ago, it was 29-year-old BJP MLA Abhishek Matoria, who was elected as the president of the federation. Having represented Rajastan in athletics in North Zone and state-level competitions, Matoria has knowledge about sports and is expected to perform well in his four-year tenure. While the Rajasthan MLA was in Patiala to witness the Women's Junior National Boxing Championship last week, in a chat with Sportline, Matoria talked about his plans for Indian boxing, what went wrong at the London Olympics and also the need to hire foreign coaches.


Becoming the youngest president of the Indian boxing Federation, how do you see your role in the set-up with Abhay Chautala being the chairman of the federation?

I never expected to become the president at this point of time. Having represented my state in athletics events, I had knowledge about sports. I was always a keen follower of sports. I accompanied the Indian boxing team to the 2009 Chicago World Cup, I had been following the sport since then. Chautala ji urged me to contest the elections and I am excited to have got the chance to use the platform and work for the promotion and betterment of the sport. I see this as an opportunity to bring fresh talent in Indian boxing and take the sport to another level.

You also accompanied the Indian boxing team to London Olympics. What went wrong in London for Indian boxers and also what according to you dented chances of Indian boxers of winning any medal?

I do not think the performance of the Indians boxers was that bad. We were just unfortunate as some decisions went against us and also we lost crucial points during some bouts. The boxers were enthusiastic before the Olympics and trained hard in Ireland. Some of the foreign coaches praised our boxers like Devendro Singh and Sumit Sangwan who I think are the talents to watch out for in the future. Vijender lost a close bout and had he won, we could have got a medal.

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