Former national champion boxer Manohar Basnet exchanged the engagement ring with Sushila Thapa inside the boxing ring here at the International Sports Complex on Sunday.

They have planned to marry during Dashain festival and also donate the reception cost of one million rupees to a charity - Gauri Bhuvan Boxing Home, which has been looking after street children apart from training them with boxing skills.

The 14-time national champion, popularly known as Max Basnet in boxing fraternity after he made appearance in the pro wrestling league in India, invited his would-be life partner Thapa - who hails from Sindhupalchowk district - to watch the AIBA World Championship selection tournament and convinced her to accept the proposal inside the boxing ring. "It was a dream ever since I started playing boxing. I wanted to propose my partner inside the ring after winning a bout but that was not possible as I have stopped playing the sport. So, I invited her to watch the selection tournament and fulfilled my dream although it took me two days to convince her," said the 34-yearold Basnet. "It was not easy to convince her to accept the proposal as it is an arrange marriage."

Basnet - who is also the chairman of Nepal Professional Boxing Council, South Asian representative in World Boxing Organisation, and promoter of the first professional boxing tournament of the country, Champ of Champions - won his last gold medal in 81kg weight category during the eighth National Games in Nepalgunj in 2019.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 21 2021, of The Himalayan Times.