Indian boxers have been performing on the global stage for nearly 70 years now. Since 1948, boxers have been a regular feature at the Olympics, but the sport picked up pace only in the 21st century, in which two Indian boxers won Olympic medals.
There have been a lot of Indian boxers at the Olympics but only two medals to show is a major concern. Nevertheless, these two medals have inspired many youngsters across the nation to pick up the sport.
Let us go back in history and see the top 5 Indian boxers of all time
Mary Kom, born on (24 November 1982) is the only female boxer to win the boxing world championship six times and also the only female boxer to have 8 championship medals. In women's boxing debut at Olympics, Mary Kom won a bronze medal in the flyweight category at the 2012 London Olympics. She has been honoured with national awards such as Padma Vibushan, Padma Bhushan, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Padma Shri, and Arjuna award. Mary has qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and is rearing to make her swansong at Games by winning another medal for the country.
Vijender Singh, born on (29 October 1985) became the first Indian male boxer to win an Olympic medal when he achieved the feat at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by winning a bronze medal. He also has a bronze medal at World Championship, three commonwealth games (2 silver, 1 bronze) medals and two Asian Games (1 silver, 1 bronze) medals. He has represented India in three Olympics: 2004 Athens, 2008 Beijing and 2012 London. In June 2015, Vijender Singh turned professional and signed a multi-year agreement. Till 2021, Vijender had a streak of 12 wins in professional boxing. The pugilist has also led his voice on many social issues in India like the protest owing to the farm bills passed by the Centre.
Sarita Devi, born on (1 March 1982) is a boxer from Manipur who is also a former world champion in the lightweight category. She has won three world championship (1 gold, 2 bronze) medals, eight Asian championship medals (5 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze). She had a great boxing career but never represented India at the Olympics. Devi entered the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, competing in the lightweight category. With a win margin of 3–0 both in the Round of 16 and Quarterfinals, she entered the semifinals to face South Korea's Park Ji-Na on September 30. After the match, she was handed a 0–3 defeat verdict by the judges of the match, which turned out to be hugely controversial, considering that Devi had knocked Park out in the third round
Hawa Singh, born on (16 December 1937) was a boxer who dominated heavyweight category boxing in the 1960s. The boxer won consecutive Asian games, which happened in 1966 and 1970, and before that, he won 11 successive National championships starting from 1962. After retirement, he took up coaching in boxing, many of the boxers training under him went on to represent India, including 2008 Olympic medallist Vijender Singh. He was awarded the Dronacharya award in 1999 for his excellence in coaching.
Dingko Singh, born on (1 January 1979) was considered to be one of the finest boxers India has ever produced. He represented India at the 1998 Asian Games and 2000 Sydney Olympics. His major achievement came in the 1998 Asian games when he won a gold medal. For his consistent performance, he was awarded the Arjuna award in the same year.