Indian professional pugilist Neeraj Goyat has broken into the World Boxing Council (WBC) rankings courtesy his successful defence of the welterweight Asia Pacific title last month.
The Indian is currently ranked 35th in the WBC list which as updated after his victory over Australian Ben Kite.
Neeraj had outpunched Kite to retain the belt. The 24-year-old prevailed 120-110 119-109 115-113 in a gruelling 12-round contest against his 26-year-old rival, who had the experience of fighting nine bouts. Neeraj has an overall record of eight wins in 12 fights.
"It's a huge achievement for me to break into the top-35 of WBC rankings, which has had world champions like Floyd Mayweather among others. I am the first Indian boxer to break into these rankings and I am very happy about it.
My next target is to win a WBC international title which would propel me into the top-15 of the rankings," Neeraj told PTI.
Once he breaks into the top-15, Neeraj would be in contention to challenge for the world title as well. "That is my ultimate goal, to win the world title but it is one step at a time. So I am taking things as they come," Neeraj said.
The WBC welterweight rankings are currently topped by British star Amir Khan, who holds the silver belt right now.