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Sony picks up media rights to Super Boxing League

MUMBAI: Sony Pictures Network India (SPNI) has acquired the media rights to the upcoming Super Boxing League (SBL).

Scheduled to be staged from 7 July until 12 August, the SBL has been conceptualised by British businessman Bill Dosanjh, also the founder and promoter of the Super Fight League (SFL), held recently in New Delhi.

The SBL, with its tag line ‘Hit Harder’, will also be promoted by Olympic medallist and two-time world champion boxer, Amir Khan. It is being launched in association with AIBA Pro Boxing (APB), who will provide the boxers the right platform to showcase their talent.

The fights in the league will be held over the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and will be telecast live on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD at the prime-time slot 7-9 pm. The fights will also be live-streamed on SPNI’s digital platform Sony Liv.

One of the features of the SBL will be its unique point scoring system, which is being introduced for the first time in the history of professional boxing, wherein a boxer can claim six points on winning a bout through knock-out.

The SBL will consist of eight franchises. Each team will comprise six players (five male boxers and one female boxer with six back-up players per team). There will be competitions in six different weight categories with bouts of four rounds of three minutes each.

“We have witnessed the excitement and appetite for contact sports in India, which has seen phenomenal growth in the past few years. Boxing is one such sport, which is encouraging professional players to make it big in the ring through international leagues.

“India has a huge talent potential for boxing, and with Super Boxing League, we intend to provide a middle ground for both the average everyday player and the professional boxer. A lot of aspiring athletes wish to go professional and they all just need the right platform. With Super Boxing League, we are looking to create an ecosystem to promote Indian boxing talent and bring back boxing to where we were—in the top 10 in the world or even top-five,” said Dosanjh.

AIBA president Dr Ching-Kuo Wu said, “It is heartening to accompany the birth of this new competition. It will further enhance Indian boxing perception on the international stage and provide yet another career pathway for AIBA boxers. I am hopeful that this league will do justice to India’s vast potential in the sport.”

Khan said, “I am very happy to introduce this unique platform for Indian boxers. With Super Boxing League, we aim to provide the right training for potential boxers which will helps in producing more professional world champions. We want to create an exciting platform where talent can fight in front of their home fans in their own country. With such a talent-filled nation, I believe India can produce aplenty boxing superstars in coming years.”

In an initiative to make the sport more accessible to fans, the SBL will introduce a unique concept in fitness and training, 12 Rounds will be India’s first pro boxing gym. Unlike other sports in India, the franchise gym will enable fans and students to interact with SBL stars, train with them and learn from them. The gyms will offer High Speed workouts of 25 minutes at 12 workstations.