Professional boxing is a must for Sri Lanka ringing forward | Sunday Observer

Professional boxing is a must for Sri Lanka ringing forward

4 December, 2022
Sumith Liyanage (right) and Wazir Sourjah
Sumith Liyanage (right) and Wazir Sourjah

Professional boxing is a world accepted sport which draws heavy crowds associated with world-wide publicity.

Therefore, it is an ideal opportunity for a country such as ours to raise its profile in the international sphere and also draw much-needed finances by staging such contests.

I strongly believe that our Port City complex, with all the facilities and infrastructure available there, would be an ideal location for having professional boxing contests.

It will also help Tourism – Sports Tourism – which is an important aspect of the model world.

A very good example would be Qatar – where the Football World Cup is currently being held, where F1 Grand Prix races are conducted, where other sporting events are also held, attracting many thousands to the country.

Being a country of many natural resources – unlike some other countries – we are very well placed to explore and take advantage of these to the benefit of Sri Lanka.

Professional boxing will also open the doors for our own boxers to develop their skills and participate in these professional events much to the benefit of sports as well as the country.

As far as I am aware, most of those from other countries who participated with me at the Rome Olympics 1960 turned professional. I would specifically mention as a glowing example the great Muhammad Ali – then Cassius Clay – who fought in the same Olympic ring as I did but in a different weight class fortunately for me.

Professional boxing has been around from the early 1900 but in the history of the sport in Sri Lanka, only two turned professional when they migrated to London in the 1970s and gave a good account of themselves and the country they came from on the international scene. I refer to the great boxing brothers – Winston and Geoffery Van Cuylenburg. They are the pioneers. Let Sri Lanka follow in their footsteps. Let professional boxing be introduced to this country and let us reap the benefits and the glory of our own boxers.