New Delhi, Dec 15: To sustain the current run of success in Indian boxing and to further improve till 2012 Olympics, the Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) and Mittal Champions Trust (MCT) are mulling the prospect of coming together to put up a world-class boxing centre.
Heath Matthews - contracted with the MCT and also the physio of the Indian boxing team - pitched this idea to the federation a few months back. A concrete plan is yet to be laid down but the initial indicators are in the affirmative.
"I know the heights which the Indian boxers can achieve and the facility that they need from the time that I've spent with them. I've a dream of building a world-class facility for these boxers,” said Matthews. "It's going to be a place where there will be world-class coaching and medical expertise. It will also be a place where apart from giving the boxers the accomodation," he said.
PK Murlidharan Raja, the secretary of the Indian boxing federation, confirmed this and said that the plan is in the pipeline. "We're open to this kind of offer from the MIT. They've helped us a great deal...The formalities are yet to be worked out. There was a proposal from them when they had asked us to set up the centre a year back for which they would've funded. It's still very much on the agenda."
Raja also pointed out the locations where he would like the centre to come up. "Bhiwani will be the place where we would ideally like to build up this foundation, followed by Manipur. Bhiwani because there are about 3000 enthusiasts there and Manipur because it's the fertile belt of the boxers considering MC Mary Kom and Dingko Singh hail from there."
Till the time the project is finalised, Matthews is keeping his fingers crossed. "It's a ground-swelling performance that the Indians have put up over the last few months so I'm hoping that the Federation accepts the proposals. We've already started discussing things like not building stadiums but cost-effective training centres, renovating the existing training grounds from scratch. I've seen facilities around the world and I've the ambition of making it one step better than the best."
Matthews also stated that this project will be an add-on for the talented lot of coaches and boxers that India has. "Don't get me wrong. It's not that India has any shortage of talent. I've studied the Russians and the Cubans and our coaches don't do things differently than the other coaches of the world. But we still need to bring some people with specific knowledge from abroad to train these coaches in India. To sustain the success that we've been achieving over the last few months we need to lay down a long-term plan."