Bearded boxer wins court fight

Amateur boxer Pardeep Singh Nagra will fight at the national championships with his beard intact, after a fight in court with the Canadian Amateur Boxing Association (CABA).

CABA had barred him from fighting because Nagra, a practising Sikh, refused to shave his beard. International amateur boxing rules state beards are a safety hazard in the ring.

But a court ruled Wednesday that regulations disallowing boxers who have beards for religious reasons violate the Charter of Rights.

At the national championships in December, CABA postponed Nagra's light flyweight division rather than let him compete. The competition is rescheduled for later this month in St. Catharines, Ont.

That is an important first round for Nagra. His next fight is with the International Amateur Boxing Association. It would have to change its rules to allow Nagra to fight at the Sydney Games if he makes Canada's Olympic boxing team.