Mahindra Automotive, the Indian car manufacturing giant, has secured title sponsorship rights to the upcoming International Boxing Association’s (IBA) Women’s World Boxing Championships in India after striking an agreement with the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) governing body.

As part of the new agreement, Mahindra Automotives’ XUV300 TGDi and Thar vehicles have become the official SUVs of the tournament and the company will be launching competitions for attendees at the event.

The BFI also announced Indian boxing legend Mary Kom and actor Farhan Akhtar have been appointed as brand ambassadors of the tournament.

Veejay Nakra, president of the automotive division at Mahindra & Mahindra, said: “We are delighted to be associated with the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, which is a significant step towards promoting women’s boxing globally.

“We acknowledge the tremendous growth in viewership and followers of women’s boxing over the years, which highlights the strength, resilience, and toughness that women embody in the face of challenges. As a company dedicated to promoting diversity and empowering women, we are honored to be associated with this groundbreaking sport and its athletes.”

BFI president Ajay Singh added: “We are delighted to welcome Mahindra Automotive as our lead sponsor. BFI and Mahindra share a common vision of women empowerment through sport, and I am happy to see them as our partner in this mission.

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“And the presence of Mary Kom and Farhan Akhtar as the brand ambassadors for the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships will add immense value to our mission of encouraging women's participation in boxing. Mary Kom is a legend of our sport and Farhan Akhtar is a Bollywood icon who has made several inspiring sports movies including one about boxing.

“The association with these two youth icons will enhance the prestige of this World Championship and help in promoting the sport across the country. The event will also help showcase to the world India’s potential as a host for big global tournaments”.

The 2023 Women’s World Boxing Championships are being staged at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi from March 15 to 26.

This year's edition of the biennial championships, which are the highest level of amateur boxing alongside the Olympics, will be the first at which digital evaluation and bout review will be introduced.

It is set to feature a record 350 boxers from 74 countries competing across 12 weight categories: 48kg, 50kg, 52kg, 54kg, 57kg, 60kg, 63kg, 66kg, 70kg, 75kg, 81kg, and 81kg+. The event will also see a prize fund of $2.4 million.

Gold medal winners in each of the 12 weight categories will receive $100,000, while those who finish as runners-up in their categories will collect $50,000. Bronze medalists, meanwhile, will receive $25,000.

It will see flyweight champion Nikhat Zareen defend her title on home turf having triumphed last year in Istanbul after the 2021 event was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

New Delhi was announced in November as the host of the event, which will be the third time the city has hosted the competition after 2006 and 2018.

It was announced at the start of November that the 2023 edition of the men’s World Boxing Championships will be held in Tashkent in Uzbekistan.

The postponed 2022 edition of the women’s biennial event in Istanbul, Turkey, was broadcast in more than 100 countries by 19 broadcasters across linear platforms and the YouTube online video platform in countries where there was no licensed broadcaster.

That tournament was exclusively distributed by Protocol Sports Marketing in association with Premier Management Group. The IBA selected Protocol after its success in distributing the 2021 IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships, which were held in Belgrade, Serbia, last November.

Image: Eddie Keogh/Getty Images