IMPHAL, Jan 12 - After creating history by becoming the first ever female boxer from India to step into the world of professional boxing, Arjuna Awardee and former world champion Laishram Sarita Devi will make her professional debut against Zsofia Bedo of Hungary, a veteran of 59 professional bouts, at Khuman Lampak Sports complex here on January 29, sources said.
�It will be a baptism by fire for Sarita, who is training hard at the Sports Authority India�s National Boxing Academy in Rohtak for her new avatar,� says Sporty Solutions Limited, a Noida based sports marketing company in a press release which was made available here.
The 29-year-old Hungarian is better known for knocking out her opponents. The world number 29, to her credit has 19 wins with a seven per cent knock out record while 31-year-old Sarita is honing her skills under the tutelage of American coach Joe Clough.
The 73-year-old Clough has coached Evander Holyfield besides being a member of the Mohammad Ali coaching team. Sarita wants to take no chances as she claims herself to be a lady on mission. �Turning professional is not just about winning or losing a couple of bouts. I will have to make longer strides to achieve my goals. The stronger the opponent, the better are the chances to improve my pro rankings,� says the Manipur boxer who is serving in State police department, according to the release.
Asserting that the Sarita-Zsofia bout will usher a new era for Indian boxing, Indian Boxing Council president, Brig PK Muralidharan Raja said,�Sarita�s presence in Imphal is going to draw a good crowd support. We also plan to create a �box park� outside the arena where the fans are expected to turn up in big numbers to watch live action on giant screens to get the in-stadia-like feel.�