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Jun 20, 2007 at 04:16am IST

Juniors get ready for bigger punches

New Delhi: The latest Rocky flick is in the theatres and everyone's talking about boxing. So what's the scene in Indian boxing? Not too great at the moment, with just two medals at the Asiad. The focus now is shifting to the next generation.

No small measures. The objective is clear. Land them as hard as possible and score points. There's no better training ground for any sportsperson than actual competition. These Indian boxers aren't the A team, they are part of the B and the C teams. The emphasis is on building up the bench strength.

Chief coach of the Indian boxing team M Venu, says: "The juniors are the prospects for the future. They will do well and will form the core of the 2010."

The YMCA International Boxing Competition in the Capital is a big draw for the upcoming boxers. The competition may not quite be world class, but is an opportunity to try out moves practised hard in training.

Indian boxers haven't set the ring on fire in recent months, just one gold at the Commonwealth Games and two medals at the Doha Asian Games. Experts say there should be infusion of young blood after the 2008 Olympics. But first these youngsters should be ready.

Bhutan coach G Gurung says, "Indian team ke youngsters bahut achhe hain. But it will take time. Samay to lagega. (The Indian yougsters are good, but it will naturally take time)."

The intensity may not be that of a Racky Balboa fight. But it is tournaments like these in which the young guns of Indian boxing are being groomed. The seniors get more exposure, but the B and C teams, too, need the experince under the belt, or else, they will be on unfamiliar territory when they step up a grade.