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How football helped boxer Kavinder Singh Bisht to defeat World Champion

How football helped boxer Kavinder Singh Bisht to defeat World Champion

Sudip Pakrashi

Published: 29 April 2019 4:13 AM GMT

Kavinder Singh Bisht was not under any kind of psychological pressure before his crucial quarterfinal bout against Kazakhstan’s current World Champion Kairat Yeraliyev at the recently concluded Asian Boxing Championship. Bisht went on to defeat Kairat and finished his campaign with a silver medal in the 56 kg category.

Kavinder pointed out his father's message which always acts as an inspiration for him. Speaking over phone from Dehradun, the 23-year-old boxer, originally from Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand, said, "My father, a state government employee, always tells me to not run after medals or success. He believes working hard pays off one day. So I try to work hard without thinking of the outcome.”

Kavinder added how his father (Dhansingh Bisht) has taught him to remain cool even in difficult times. “2018 was my worst year till date. I had an injury. I was not selected in the Indian contingent for the Asian Games. I was depressed."

"During that time, my father used to keep on saying one thing - it's a part and parcel of life and reminded me by saying, even if I achieve success, I should be grounded so that I never forget my worst phase of life.” 

"Vijender's Bronze changed me"

Kavinder was passionate about football in his early days. He used to play as a striker in Pithoragarh and felt he could make a career as a footballer . But it all changed after 2008.

Kavinder described, “Vijender Singh won the bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing and I was fascinated after having watched him (Vijender) on TV.” Following encouragement from local boxing coach Dharam Chand, Kavinder started playing the sport. “There was no boxing ring in my area. I did not have proper boxing gloves even. Just out of interest, I used to do boxing there.” Kavinder’s boxing career began actually in 2011 when he was admitted to SAI Uttarakhand.

Kavinder Singh Bisht finished his Asian Championships campaign with a silver medal.

Kavinder still plays football on his off-days in the national preparatory camp to keep himself fit. “My stamina in the boxing ring has improved a lot. My endurance level is high as football is a body-contact game. I can absorb opponent’s punches and football has helped me to improve another thing - footwork," he clarified.

His two favorite international boxers are Mexico’s Canelo Alvarez and Kazakhstan’s Gennady Golovkin. He often watches videos of these two professional boxers to improve his technique. Kavinder is also under the Target Olympics Podium (TOP) scheme. With things falling in place, slowly and steadily, he is now waiting for the national boxers’ exposure trip which is likely to happen this year.

Kavinder who joined the Indian Air Force in 2017 has one wish - to meet and talk to Vijender Singh. “Once I had seen him from close quarters. But I did not get the chance to talk to him. I wish I can do that one day.”
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