THE World boxing body, AIBA, has revised the conventional lightweight category (46kg) to 49kg ahead of next week’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
This means that Rwanda’s pugilist Haziza Matusi, who currently weighs 49.5kg only has to punch off 0.5kg.
The general weigh-in and official draw for the Games will be held on Monday, one day before the action proper gets underway at the newly constructed Talkatora Indoor Stadium.
The organizers have confirmed 231 boxers competing in ten weight categories: 49, 52, 56, 60, 64, 69, 75, 81, 91 and +91kg under official AIBA rules with three rounds of three minutes each with one minute rest in between rounds. Athletes born between 1976 and 1993 are eligible to compete at the Games.
The highest number of athletes will be competing in lightweight and welterweight classes, while only fifteen boxers are expected in the super heavyweight division.
Joining host India with full 10-member squads are Australia, England and Kenya. The Indian and English squads have the biggest chances of topping the team rankings.
Northern Ireland and Ghana teams only lack super heavyweight boxers. Africa’s top boxing nation, Ghana, was the guest of Australia for its pre-Games training camp.
Powerful African contingents from Mauritius and Tanzania will attend with eight boxers and medal hopes. Lesotho, Malaysia, Namíbia, Nigeria, Scotland and Sri Lanka have also entered, with seven boxers.
Botswana, New Zealand, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea have six-member teams. One of Pakistan’s boxers is the younger brother of former Olympic silver medalist Amir Khan, UK-born Haroon Khan. Zambia sent only four qualified boxers to the Games, while Sierra Leone will be competing with only two athletes for the same reason.
The Isle of Man is also making its debut at the Commonwealth Games boxing tournament with super heavyweight Dominic Winrow, who has medal prospects.