Internet Desk: Set for a new start in the professional boxing arena, former Commonwealth gold-medalist Akhil Kumar and his compatriot Jitender Kumar will feature in six bouts this year, starting with four-round contests on their debut night on April 1.
Akhil and Jitender, both of whom created a flutter in the 2008 Olympics with their lion-hearted performances, are set to make their professional debut in the undercard of the Double Asian title fight featuring Vijender Singh on April 1 in Mumbai.
While Akhil would be competing in the super lightweight category, Jitender would be seen fighting in the super featherweight division.
“We have been training for quite a while. I know it is just over a month’s time before we make our debuts but we have the experience to adapt quickly and deliver the results,” Akhil said.
“I have always gone the way Akhil has guided me and with him by my side, I am sure it will be another good journey,” added Jitender.
Both the effervescent Haryana-lads formally signed up with the IOS Boxing Promotions here today. Both Akhil and Jitender are former Asian Championships bronze-medallists and serving DSPs in the Haryana Police. They turned professional after getting permission from their department.
Both the boxers will be trained at an academy being developed by IOS in Gurgaon and a trainer from Manchester would be joining them by the end of this month.
“Akhil and Jitu are our prime boxers after Vijender and there will be a trainer from Manchester coming over to Delhi by this month end to oversee their training,” said IOS MD Neerav Tomar.
“Of the six fights that Akhil and Jitu will compete in this year, two will be international. We have big plans for them and they would be training abroad as well,” he added.
Speaking of his training regimen, Akhil said he has been putting in a couple of hours daily as of now but the intensity will increase in the coming days.
“I have understood the difference between a trainer and coach. I have understood that a coach’s job is technical knowhow. It is the trainer who sweats it out,” Akhil said.
The fight night on April 1 will see Vijender, a WBO Asia Pacific Super Middlweight champion, take on WBO Oriental champion and Chinese No.1 Zulpikar Maimaitiali.
The titles of the two boxers will be on the line and the winner will end up with both the belts.
With inputs from PTI.