Thiruvananthapuram: The boxing competition at the National Games starting on Saturday was thrown into jeopardy Thursday after Boxing India (BI) directed all state units to boycott the event owing to the IOA's refusal to grant recognition to BI, prompting top names such as former Asian and Commonwealth medallist Manoj Kumar to pull out.
BI's tough stand follows the IOA's adamant denial of recognition to the body, which, interestingly, has the support of the International Boxing Association (AIBA).
"IOA has long been non-comittal to Boxing India and given this latest incidence of no response from them, all state boxing associations affiliated to Boxing India are hereby directed to not to send any list of boxers to IOA for participation in National Games," BI President Sandeep Jajodia said in a letter sent to the state units.
"Our unified stand at this juncture will benefit the boxing fraternity immensely in the long run. It is important that we remain united and work towards ensuring that Indian boxing gets its due recognition in the sports ecosystem of the country," it added.
The communication prompted some of the established names such as Manoj Kumar, a 2010 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, and Olympian Asian gold-medallist Sumit Sangwan to pull out of the event.
"We are under Boxing India and we cannot afford to go against them because our future is at stake. The IOA should understand and grant affiliation because Boxing India has the AIBA's approval," Manoj told PTI.
The IOA has remained steadfast in opposing BI ever since it came into existence last year, insisting on the functional authority of its own ad-hoc committee, which was formed merely to select teams after the erstwhile Indian Amateur Boxing Federation was terminated for manipulation in elections.