It’s not a sport, it’s a business

Bangladesh is more familiar with amateur boxing which they have competed in various games like Olympic Games, Asian Games, South Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. In amateur boxing, different weight classes are fought over three rounds of three minutes each, with a one-minute break between rounds. Professional boxing, which has made names like Muhammad Ali household names, has a minimum of four rounds of three minutes each and can have up to 12 rounds depending on the experience of the boxers involved.

That being said, there is no protective headgear in professional boxing that is mandatory for amateur fights. Boxers also need a license to compete professionally, but amateur boxers compete in various competitions under the direct supervision of pro-government national boxing federations.

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Supervised by the newly established Bangladesh Boxing Foundation (BBF), the recently concluded professional boxing competition titled “Xcel Presents South Asian Pro Boxing Fight Night – The Ultimate Glory” in Bangladesh caused a stir in Bangladesh and proud Bangladeshis shared pictures of the boxer on social media Sura Krishna Chakma draped in the red and green flag.

The journey of professional boxing in Bangladesh started in November 2020 under the Bangladesh Professional Boxing Society (BPBS) which organized 14 professional boxing competitions that did not attract much media attention.

Before the BPBS began their journey, Sura Krishna Chakma paved the way for Bangladesh’s take on professional boxing. The former BKSP student became the first Bangladeshi boxer to enter a cross-border professional boxing competition, fighting against Indian professional boxers in Haryana in 2018. The Dhaka University graduate won both fights in India before winning his third fight against a Nepalese boxer in Bangladesh May 19.

“We have just started the journey of professional boxing in Bangladesh. It is now our responsibility to create a roadmap and environment so that we can create long-term developments in professional boxing. We plan to hold a national competition every quarter of the year and two international competitions a year,” said BBF Chairman Adnan Haroon, who was once BPBS Vice President.

BPBS was founded in 2020 by internationally recognized trainer, mentor and promoter MD Asaduzzaman who is also Chairman of World Boxing Buddies Union, China.

“I have been in the professional boxing arena for almost 30 years and have worked in 67 countries,” said Asaduzzaman. “My dream is to take boxing to a professional level in Bangladesh. Received approval from world governing bodies – ABC and Boxrec – and returned to Bangladesh in 2020 to start working at BSPS. I want to bring professional boxing in Bangladesh to a certain level by 2024. Asaduzzaman said, adding that they had organized 14 professional boxing competitions in the last 18 months and that other boxers would participate in two international competitions in India and Colombia in June.

“Pro boxing isn’t a sport, it’s a business. If done right, a boxer can earn 60,000 tk to crores per fight. However, we have to work hard to reach that level,” said Asaduzzaman, who claimed he had coached 17 world champions. As champion, Sura Krishna Chakma received 20,000 Tk while the debutants received 5,000 Tk each. Given the lack of a proper structure, it has not been possible to determine how many boxers, amateur or otherwise, there are in Bangladesh.

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