In an attempt to keep the sport of boxing alive, Ramana Boxing Club organised the Ultimate Boxing Championship for the first time ever in Bengaluru. The six-fight card, attended by star boxer Mary Kom, saw the winner of each fight walk away with a Rs. 50,000 reward.
The first bout was between Chennai based pugilist Arun Pandian and Narendra P from Telengana. Arun turned professional six years ago and it was the first time the state silver medalist was in Bengaluru for a fight. “I am excited to be here. I’ve taken part in around 30 events so far but this is the first time we are having an event of this scale in Bengaluru,” he said before defeating Narendra P by unanimous decision 40-31, 40-30, 40-31.
In the second bout, Joseph defeated Ravi M by knock-out after a hard-hitting second round which resulted in Ravi M throwing in the towel. Joseph, a migrant from Democratic Republic of Congo, is pursuing a Computer Applications degree in the city. He started out as an amateur boxer in his home country but has now turned to professional boxing in India. He was representing Ramana Boxing Club based out of the city.
Chandra Bahadur Tamang, who won the third bout of the night defeating Venkatesh P from Telangana was awarded his trophy by star boxer Mary Kom. The crowd, which had patiently waited for the star, erupted at the sight of her. “I am happy to be in Bengaluru. Boxing should be promoted here. I would say to all the boxers here, don’t fight for yourself but fight for your country,” said Mary Kom. Mary Kom failed to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics boxing event.
Delhi-based boxers Deepak, Brijesh Yadav and Ram Singh defeated Saravanan, Dharma Raju B and Reynold respectively to round out the competition. The trio became good friends touring the boxing circuit in India and was thrilled to fight in Bengaluru for the first time. On-lookers including Ramesh, an avid boxing fan, were impressed by the intensity of the fight. “It was an intense fight. The competitor (Naresh) was rocked by one of the punches but still kept going till the end for four rounds,” said Ramesh.