Cream of boxers in the ring
The cream of the national boxers will be in action when the 83rd
senior national championships conducted by the Amateur Boxing
Association of Sri Lanka gets underway at the Sugathadasa indoor Stadium
in Colombo today.
This years meet will be of great significance because the ABA are in
the process of consolidating their position and are also looking for new
talent in preparation for the 2012 London Olympic Games.
The President of the ABA Dian Gomes said that they will be
concentrating on the younger players who will be competing in the first
five weight categories.
The events that will be worked off are the under 51 fly weight, under
54 bantam weight, under 57 feather weight, under 60 light weight, under
64 light welter weight, under 69 welter weight, under 75 middle weight,
under 81 light heavy weight, under 91 heavy weight and over 91 super
The Secretary of the ABA Lt. Col. Hemantha Weerasinghe stated that
over one hundred competitors will be vying for honours where the finals
will be worked off on November 8.
Last year Slimline Boxing Club emerged champions with Sri Lanka Army
BC as the runners up.
This was the third occasion that Slimline BC had won the senior
nationals following their earlier success in 2001 and 2004. In contrast
Sri Lanka Army BC have dominated the senior nationals since its
inception in 1926 having emerged overall champions on as many as 24
occasions. However Secretary of the ABA Lt. Col. Hemantha Weerasinghe
said that there have been records of the earlier meets only from the
Sri Lanka Army BC of course won this years Clifford Cup meet at the
same venue and will be hoping for a repeat performance. Last year R. M.
T. Dakshitha from Unichella BC was selected as the most scientific
Apart from Sri Lanka Army BC and Slimline BC, there will be a number
of top boxers from Sri Lanka Police BC, Sri Lanka Navy BC, Sri Lanka Air
Force BC and YMCA who will be vying for honours.
In fact Police BC have emerged overall champions on four occasions
but their last victory was way back in the year 1959.
In addition Sri Lanka Navy BC and YMCA emerged joint champions in
1981. The YMCA who were a major force in the scene during that stage had
the credit of winning the overall title in 1988. Sri Lanka Air Force BC
emerged overall champions in 1998.
The President of the ABA Dian Gomes further said that some of the
promising boxers who excelled in the recent ABA junior nationals will be
competing with the more experienced boxers.
In fact L. K. G. N. Rukshan from St. Sylvester’s College Kandy who
won the best boxers award at the junior nationals along with P. K.
Pitigala from St. Aloysius College who was named the best loser will be
among the youngsters competing at the meet.
The biggest disappointment of course will be the absence of star
boxer Kamal Sameera who has been ruled out with dengue.
The bronze medallist at the 2005 Commonwealth Games and silver
medallist at the South Asian Federation Championships also missed out
the dual meet against the Moscow Bears last month with a virus fever.