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World Series of Boxing: Devendro, Gaurav bag contracts

PTI 12 Nov 2014, 22:08:09 PM IST

New Delhi: Two of India's rising boxers -- Commonwealth Games silver-medallist L Devendro Singh (49kg) and Gaurav Bhiduri (52kg) -- would be seen in action in the professional-style World Series of Boxing after grabbing two-year contracts with the franchises of Poland and Italy today.

While Asian Championships silver-medallist Devendro will be seen in action for Poland Hussars, Bhiduri has been lapped up by Italia Thunders. The Italian franchise was the champion in the team event of the 2011-12 season albeit under a different name.

The two boxers have got the opportunity courtesy Anglian Medal Hunt -- a sports management group which has been supporting the duo.

"I am so excited about the prospect of competing in this tournament. It is a huge opportunity for me," Devendro told PTI.

"I don't words to describe how it feels. It is a huge opportunity for me because the Italian team features some big names like (Olympic and Word Championships medallist) Paddy Barnes," said Bhiduri.

Last season too, the Indian boxers had been seen in action at the WSB when Asian champion Shiva Thapa and Sumit Sangwan turned up for the USA franchise for a select number of bouts. However, this is the first time that Indian boxers have been offered full-fledged contracts.

"The financial details are still being worked out but this is the first time that Indian boxers have been offered full-time contracts in this league. They will get to train with the best during their stint and hopefully they will deliver in the ring," said Anglian Medal Hunt CEO Maneesh Bahuguna.

"Their contracts are for season five and six, which will be held in 2015," he added.

Besides, the WSB also offers Olympic quota places for boxers through its individual championships.

"We are getting used to playing without head guards and we will train hard to ensure that we have the stamina to last five rounds in this event. It will definitely make us better boxers," said Devendro.

The two will travel to their respective teams early next year for the season starting January 16.