Indian boxers L Devendro Singh (49kg) and Gaurav Bidhuri (52kg) will be pulling in some punches in the upcoming season of the World Series of Boxing, after grabbing two-year contracts with Polish and Italian franchises.
While Commonwealth Games and Asian Championships silver-medallist Devendro will turn up for Poland Hussars, Bidhuri has been lapped up by Italia Thunders for the season starting January 16.
The Italian franchise was the champion in the team event of the 2011-12 season albeit under a different name.
"I am glad that boxer Gaurav Bidhuri is about to join the Italia Thunder. I give him my warmest welcome and can't wait to meet him. We are building a great team and we hope to qualify as many boxers as possible to the next Olympic Games in 2016," said Paolo Cassera, Managing Director of Italia Thunder.
The two boxers received the opportunity thanks to Anglian Medal Hunt -- a sports management group which has been supporting the duo.
"I am so excited about the prospect of competing in this tournament. It is a huge opportunity for me because I can also grab an Olympic berth if I do well," Devendro told PTI.
"I don't have words to describe how it feels. It is a huge opportunity for me because the Italian team features some big names like (Olympic and Word Championships medallist) Paddy Barnes," said Bhiduri.
Last season, Asian champion Shiva Thapa and Sumit Sangwan turned up for the USA franchise for WSB following a mid-season deal.
"The financial details are still being worked out but this is the first time that Indian boxers have been offered full-time contracts in this league. They will get to train with the best during their stint and hopefully they will deliver in the ring," said Anglian Medal Hunt CEO Maneesh Bahuguna.
"Their contracts are for season five and six, both of which will be held in 2015," he added.
The WSB offers Olympic quota places for boxers through its individual championships.
"We are getting used to playing without head guards in the amateur competitions and we will train hard to ensure that we have the stamina to last five rounds in this event. It will definitely make us better boxers," said Devendro.