New Delhi: They were the stars of India's campaign in the previous edition and led by the effervescent Suranjoy Singh, the country's boxers on Tuesday took off for Brazilian capital Rio de Janeiro aiming to dominate the ring yet again at the World Military Games starting on Sunday.

With a gold and four bronze medals in the fourth edition of the Games held in Hyderabad in 2007, the boxers accounted for half of India's 10-medal haul the last time.

And with Indian boxing on an all-time high, the 10-member team that left on Tuesday is aiming to pack a heavier punch and fetch more medals in an event which is set to feature 100 countries in 24 sporting disciplines.

Suranjoy, who won seven back-to-back international gold medals before his streak ended with a bronze in the Guangzhou Asian Games, would be competing in his first major event since November last year.

"The body feels great now as this break has healed the niggles and even though I am competing in these Games for the first time, I am confident about doing well. I have no idea what the competition would be like but I know that the draw would be Olympic-size because these Games are growing," the fly weight 52kg boxer, who went for a training-cum-competition trip to Cuba in May, said.

"A big challenge would be to get acclimatised after landing in Rio but since we are going there a few days in advance, I hope it doesn't make much of a difference to our performance," the Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, nicknamed 'Chhota Tyson' by his peers, added.

P Narjit Singh was the boxing gold medallist for India at the last edition of the Games when he fetched the top honours in the bantamweight category.

The bronze medals came through Harikishan Beliwal (51kg), Garikna Satyaraju (64kg), D Bhagyarajan (69kg) and Mohinder Thapa (81kg).

This time, apart from Suranjoy, the medal hopes would also rest on Asian Games silver-medallist and President's Cup gold-winner V Santhosh Kumar (64kg), South Asian Games gold-medallist Chhote Lal Yadav (56kg) and Asian Championships silver-medallist Thokchom Nanao Singh (49kg).

The 20-year-old Santhosh has barely got a chance to celebrate his gold in the President's Cup which concluded in Jakarta, Thailand last week but he is not complaining.

"I am used to the grind. The good thing is that this kind of a schedule always helped stay in rhythm. I am confident of getting a second successive gold," he said.

Yadav didn't get a medal at the President's Cup, losing in the quarterfinals by a point, but the reigning national champion said the experience has helped him immensely.

"I fought two very tough bouts in Jakarta. This has helped me physically and hopefully the improvement will show when I take the ring in these Games," he said.

For Nanao, it is a comeback of sorts after battling a career-threatening hand injury that took away almost his entire last year.

In the heavier weight categories, Asian Games silver-medallist Manpreet Singh (91kg) would be India's prime medal hope.

The team would be accompanied by coach C Kuttappa, who is an assistant to national coach GS Sandhu in the India camp.

The Team: Thokchom Nanao Singh (49kg), Suranjoy Singh (52kg), Chhote Lal Yadav (56kg), Neeraj Goyat (60kg), V Santhosh Kumar (64kg), Rakesh Kalaskar (69kg), Ajay Kumar (75kg), Krishan Kumar (81kg), Manpreet Singh (91kg) and Naresh Kumar (+91kg).

(Agencies)