Imagine being able to fight in different cities of a country as vast and diversified as India. With professional boxing rings present in some of the most unique and people-friendly venues such as public parks and malls, the amount of instant recognition and fame mixed with the loud cheers by your fans, has to feel absolutely surreal.
The main guys at Mega Boxing decided to act upon this unique idea and came up with a well established system of carrying out official boxing match-ups in the biggest cities of the country, giving the opportunity to all the aspiring pugilists from all corners to show what they are made of, throughout the year.
Recognised by the World Boxing Organisation (WBO), World Boxing Association, World Boxing Council, Mega Boxing is the brainchild of founders Anirudh Pathak, Aditya Gulati and Anirban Roy, who envision the sport to be a lot bigger than it is in India.
You saw a teaser last November, now it's time to experience the first episode of the biggest Indian boxing season! Details will be out soon. Raw action coming your way!https://t.co/FD0saZxacz@dlf_cyberhub @Everlast_ @EverlastIndia #boxingstream #BoxingNews #Boxing #thebiggame pic.twitter.com/dCbYohFzpV— Mega Boxing (@MegaBoxingIN) February 28, 2019
We, as an organisation, are a sucker for such innovative ideas and inspirational stories so we had to have a look-see into what was going on.
This is how our interview with the Mega Boxing Co-founder, Anirudh Pathak went:
How would you best describe Mega Boxing? What makes it unique?
Mega boxing is India's first and only one day professional boxing IP. All other private boxing platforms in India are in a league format.
Distinguishing us from others are the religious elimination round fights that we organise throughout the year, that enable us to scout the best performers in respective categories. Our venues are also not the same conventional arenas; rather we organise these fights in more public friendly places like shopping malls, IT Parks and more with the objective of ensuring that the sport resonates with a wider populous.
We believe in not just promoting boxing as a sport but also as a major source of entertainment for the audience. This ideology is evident in all Mega Boxing shows that are a fusion of sports, energy, fashion and technology unlike the mainstream championships.
What were the selection criteria for shortlisting these candidates?
We at Mega boxing have fashioned a well-organized system to scout boxers across the India subcontinent. Scout level fights are organised across various towns and cities like Jaipur, Kolkata, Maharashtra and Gurgaon, which helps us in mapping the quality and selecting the best fighters in the circuit.
The boxers from these locations are picked and asked to compete against multiple opponents in order to test their strength, talent, skills and grit. Our team carefully observes each performance, eventually selecting the best player to fight at a Mega Boxing fight night.
World Boxing Organisation (WBO) has also been supportive in assisting us to look out for unique talent in the nation. Our aim is to make each player well trained by making them fight in at least 4-5 challenges before they enter the Mega boxing platform so that everybody knows what they are going to witness.
What led you to take the initiative towards making boxing bigger in India?
There is a huge amount of boxing talent in India that has the potential to make a mark in the international pro boxing circuit. The sport in itself deserves a much bigger audience and now needs to make a place amongst the masses. Boxing truly has the potential to engage people and churn our global heroes, along with being extremely high on the entertainment quotient.
Our Indian boxers are doing exceptionally well in the amateur boxing segment but have no opportunities when it comes to professional bouts. With their immense talent and the potential to become champions and win belts, their only option to go pro is competing outside the country without the correct training and guidance.
Since boxing is still primarily a rural sport, it is extremely difficult for these boxers to reach fights that can change their lives and in the limited cases when they do, they tend to lose due to the lack in training; ending the boxer's journey.
Seeing the prevalence of this speed breaker, we sought to build a platform that would give our boxers a chance to fight with the correct opponents, test their grit, improve their skills, train and then reach the international circuit. Our aim is to complete the circle and build a road to Vegas for Indian boxers.
How do you envision the 'fight nights' to be?
Our fight nights are designed in such a manner that they would be like watching a movie. Each event would be high on thrill, music, fashion, drama, technology and lots of passion.
What can we expect out of the fights at Cyber Hub?
We have six very good fights planned for the event at Cyber Hub on 29th March 2019. The top card fight is between India's No 1 boxer in lightweight category – Rajesh Kumar Luka and an undefeated fighter from Tanzania- Adam Hatibu.
We strongly believe that Luka is a good prospect to win the WBO Asia Lightweight title belt should he defeat Adam in the 10-round match that we have planned for them.
Apart from this, all other fights would be equally exciting where we would see tough competition between young and experienced boxers, India's Rank 1 and Rank 2 women from the same weight category, previous winners against tougher competitors and interesting fights between boxers belonging to completely different backgrounds.