Now, it’s time for a Pro Muaythai League in India

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Nov 18, 2019

Thaland's Muaythai is also popular in West Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia

4-day event will kickstart tomorrow in Mangaluru

After pro wrestling and pro kabaddi leagues, now it is time for the Pro Muaythai League. (Muaythai is a martial art originating from Thailand).

On the reasons for hosting a pro league for Muaythai, Balakrishna Shetty, the Mumbai-based national head coach for Muaythai in the country, said that India is a big market for martial art forms. All the international companies are looking forward for the Indian market because of its 1.3 billion population.

Shetty, who was here to supervise the preparations for Senior National Muaythai Championship and Pro-India Muaythai League, said the intention of hosting the pro league is to promote regional heroes in Muaythai. The potential will be huge for this martial art form, if India is able to produce a national hero in this art form, he said, adding that the organisers of the event have pitched Pro Muaythai League format to a national sports broadcaster also.

Stating that India is doing well in wrestling and boxing, he said Muaythai also needs same level of patronage from the stakeholders. Wrestling and boxing have got support from the government, as these formats are part of Olympic games. In the same way, there is a need to promote this martial art form also, he said.

On the growth of this martial art form in other countries, he said Muaythai is a passion for the people of Thailand, just like cricket for Indians.

Different stadiums in that country host the events almost every week. Muaythai is also popular in West Asia, Indonesia and Malaysia, he said.

Stating that pro league format helps create a platform for Muaythai enthusiasts in India, he said: “Once we see they are experienced, seasoned fighters, then we will start sending them to international events, or we will invite international fighters to India. This (Mangaluru event) is just a start.”

Rajgopal Rai, President of Muaythai Association of Karnataka (MAK), said that MAK will organise Senior National Muaythai Championship and Pro-India Muaythai League in Mangaluru from November 20-24.

Around 450 participants from 27 States in the country will be participating in the national championship. Referees from the National Muaythai Association will conduct the event in Mangaluru, Rai said.

Shetty said the first four days of the event will be for amateur format. The final day will be dedicated to Pro Muaythai League. The winners will be awarded the titles in their respective categories, he added.

Published on November 18, 2019
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