New Delhi: Indian Olympic and world championship boxing medalist Vijender Kumar has been caught in unusual bout of sparring between two companies vying to promote the middleweight. Vijender secured India’s first world championships podium finish with a bronze at Milan this week after earning the nation’s first Olympics boxing medal, also a bronze at Beijing last year.
The 23-year-old’s good looks has earned him commercial endorsements and ramp walks usually reserved for cricketers but his agents are crying foul over media reports of a new deal.
Infinite Optimal Solutions (IOS) said in a statement they had exclusive commercial rights through a 10-year contract until 2015 with Vijender and any deal by another company would be illegal.
However, rivals Percept Holdings, who local media reported had signed him up for around Rs50 million ($1 million) say it was a “business partnership” to promote live events and brand endorsements would stay with his old agents.
Cricket-centric endorsement is facing a challenge from other sports in India after the medal-starved nation won three medals in Beijing, including a first-ever individual gold from shooter Abhinav Bindra.
There was no immediate comment from the boxer, who lost his semi-final bout on Friday.