The success of the first-ever international boxing event earlier this month, 'Xcel presents South Asian Pro Boxing Fight Night - The Ultimate Glory', has many wondering what the future of the sport in Bangladesh is.
Although it's in its infancy, the Bangladesh Boxing Foundation (BBF) is trying to make sure it can create something big.
The president of Xcel Sports Management and Promotions Adnan Haroon spoke with The Business Standard about their plans for boxing in Bangladesh.
Adnan, who is an entrepreneur, became a pro-boxer in 2021 and that piqued his interest in promoting the sport and growing boxing in Bangladesh.
"There are many amateur boxers in Bangladesh that are there at the grassroots level. But due to a lack of facilities and funding, they can't make it to the next level and become professional boxers. And that is where we come in and try to help."
Adnan has a plan to have professional boxing events once every two months and two big international boxing events with one event that can have title fights.
"We have an event calendar for the year where we plan to have two big international events every year. But for that, we will need to have local events every two months. We have set a roadmap in coordination with the WBA (World Boxing Association). We want to have belt events soon too where we can have bouts where boxers compete for belts and at least one belt event per year."
While boxing isn't very financially lucrative, Adnan wants to make sure that more and more boxing events take place so that boxers can make a living off of it.
For instance, Sura Krishna Chakma makes Tk20 thousand per month by participating in amateur events.
Adnan also wants to ensure the boxers that are currently doing well continue to develop and get better.
"The more the boxers get a chance to compete the more they can earn, especially when they win. So that is something we are trying to do. You look at boxers like Sura Krishna Chakma, he's doing well for us. He will need the right facilities and coaches and guidance to make sure he continues his progress and that is what we are trying to do."
For Adnan, even though they're not making a profit by organising such events, the goal is to break even and then make a profit in the long term.
The more money they can generate, the more they can help the boxers with better facilities and participation money.
"Right now, we are operating on a loss, but we are working towards breaking even. We are in the development stage so profits are not the primary concern. We have organised three amateur boxing events before this one and they were all successes. We see what our neighbouring countries like India and Nepal have been doing with their boxing events for the past three-four years. So we have set purse money for the participating boxers in accordance with that."
Adnan sees a big scope for boxing to become popular in Bangladesh and he feels that they can brand Bangladesh through boxing.
"The more we organise, economies of scale will help us and the costs of organising will decrease and the chances of making a profit will increase. That will help us pay the boxers better and provide them with better facilities.
"Even though boxing isn't as popular as cricket or football here, it has massive potential to be so among the youth. There are many who watch UFC here and I'm sure that with the right coverage, we can brand Bangladesh with boxing."
While boxing is still in its infancy in Bangladesh, Adnan's plans give boxers and fans of combat sports something to look forward to and be optimistic about in the future.