India boxer Akhil Kumar says WSB is no less risky than regular practice
India veteran boxer Akhil Kumar believes there's absolutely no danger in the 'headgear-less' World Series Boxing (WSB) that gets underway from 11 November. Akhil is a part of the 17-member lone Indian franchisee 'Mumbai Fighters' set to take on Milano Thunders at the Balewadi Sports Complex.
Fist of fury: Mumbai Fighters' Akhil Kumar packs a punch. Pic/Suresh kk
There have been apprehensions given the fact that the WSB does not permit boxers to wear any headgear, something most Indian boxers are used too at the Olympics, Asian Games and other amateur contests.
However, Akhil sees it no different to training.
"There is no difference in the technique of boxing. In this format the only difference is that instead of three rounds there will be five and one needs to win three to win the bout. It's definitely more tough but exciting and I am surely looking forward to it," the 2008 Beijing Olympics quarter-finalist told MiD DAY yesterday.
"Besides, even playing with headgear does not guarantee injury-free bouts. If you check statistics, football tops the list of sports which is most injury-prone, while boxing comes sixth. So, going by that, playing without headgear is surely not as dangerous as playing football," he added.
Finally, even as most of India's top boxers have preferred to give the WSB a miss citing Olympic qualification as their priority, Akhil said the WSB experience will in fact, hold him in good stead at the Olympic qualifiers in Kazakhstan early next year.
"Participating in the WSB will help me in my Olympic qualification. "If I am able to win some bouts in the WSB, it will boost my confidence. I have been unlucky for quite sometime now being knocked out at quarter-final stage and I'm itching to win medals," he signed off.