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Top boxers in India

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India has achieved great success through boxers such as Mary Kom, Amit Panghal, and Vijender Singh, who have won multiple international medals, including those at the Olympics.

Mary Kom
Mary Kom

It is truly amazing how much Indian boxing has grown in the twenty-first century.

In recent times, India has been a consistent producer of world-class boxers, ranging from Mary Kom and Vijender Singh to Amit Panghal and Lovlina Borgohain.

But India’s path to becoming a boxing powerhouse on a global scale hasn’t been easy.

While boxing has long been a part of Indian culture, its popularity as a sport didn’t take off until the Bombay Presidency Amateur Boxing Federation was established in 1925.

The country did occasionally succeed over the years, but it wasn’t until the early 2000s that it began to consistently succeed internationally.

In India, the sport saw rapid growth and ascent through the ranks thanks to a few noteworthy catalysts.

Indian Army came first.

The Indian Army has been at the forefront of developing boxing talent in the nation, producing world No. 1 Amit Panghal and double Asian Games gold medallist Hawa Singh. The Boys Army initiative has been an enormous success.

As a matter of fact, the Indian Army supplied one-third of the Indian boxers competing in Tokyo 2020.

The Bhiwani Boxing Club in Haryana, which regularly produces Olympic medallists and world champions, has also been a motivating factor.

Here, we take a quick look at the top Indian boxers who have brought honor to their nation.

Mary Kom

MC Mary Kom, the most successful boxer in Indian history, was born on November 24, 1982, in the small village of Kangathei, Manipur. She competes in the flyweight, light flyweight, and pinweight weight classes.

In her eight appearances, Mary Kom has returned with a medal after setting a record six times to win the amateur world championship. She also became the first female boxer from India to win an Olympic medal when she won a bronze in London 2012.

Mary Kom, a mother of three sons and an adopted daughter, has also won gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and several Asian Championships.

Lovlina Borgohain

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Lovlina Borgohain gained notoriety as the third Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal, having taken home the bronze in the welterweight class. Additionally, she won the world championship in the women’s 75kg division at the 2023 Women’s Boxing World Championships, which took place in New Delhi.

In Hangzhou, China, in 2023, Lovlina Borgohain took home the silver medal. Her first continental meet was that day.

Born on October 2, 1997, Lovlina Borgohain is from the Golaghat district of Assam. Prior to donning the boxing gloves, she practiced Muay Thai. With back-to-back bronze medals at the World Championships in 2018 and 2019, she has been moving up the ranks quickly.

Lovlina Borgohain, who is currently serving as a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) with the Assam Police, is also a three-time medallist at the Asian Championships, having placed first on the podium in 2022.

Vijender Singh

Vijender Singh, who was born on October 29, 1985, is the first Indian male superstar to achieve international fame. He is middleweight competitor from Kaluwas village in Bhiwani, Haryana. With his bronze medal from the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Vijender Singh became the first boxer from India to win an Olympic medal. He competed in the Olympics for the first time in Athens in 2004 and again in London in 2012. In 2009, Vijender Singh became the first Indian boxer to win medal at the World Championships, taking home bronze in the 75 kg division. After turning pro in 2015, Vijender has amassed an outstanding 12 wins against just loss record.

Amit Panghal 

On October 16, 1995, in the Rohtak, Haryana, village of Mayna, Amit Panghal was born. Amit Panghal, who is feet inches tall, competes in the flyweight and light flyweight classes. The small boxer made history in 2017 by winning gold in his first nationals and going on to win silver medal at the World Championships, making him the first male boxer from India. Amit Panghal, the top-ranked 52-kg fighter in the world, competed for India in Tokyo 2020 but lost his opening match. Still young man, the fighter has lot of development ahead of him. As Junior Commissioned Officer, Amit Panghal is presently serving in the Indian Army.

Laishram Sarita Devi

Another boxer from Northeastern India who has achieved global dominance is Laishram Sarita Devi. Sarita Devi, who was born on March 1, 1982, in the Thoubal district of Manipur, trained in kung-fu before entering the boxing arena. Sarita Devi had successful run in the 2000s, winning the Asian title five times between 2003 and 2012 and the world title in 2006. She also boasts medals from the Commonwealth and Asian Games.

 Akhil Kumar

Akhil Kumar, a two-time Olympian, has been a major inspiration to the Bhiwani younger generation.

Born in Faizabad, Uttar Pradesh, on March 27, 1981, Akhil Kumar is a member of the Bhiwani Boxing Club. One of the best fighters in the bantamweight class, he started his international boxing career in the late 1990s.

At the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Akhil Kumar took home the gold medal. The following year, he won a bronze at the Asian Championships. Before turning pro in 2017, he also competed in the Olympics in Beijing in 2008 and Athens in 2004.

Shiva Thapa

Assamese boxer Shiva Thapa took over the bantamweight division from Akhil Kumar. Shiva Thapa was born on December 8, 1993, and from an early age, he made waves on the international scene. He won the silver medal in the 54kg weight class at the 2010 Youth Olympics. When 18-year-old Shiva Thapa entered the ring in London in 2012, he became the youngest boxer from India to compete in an Olympic Games. Shiva Thapa won the gold medal in the 2013 Asian Championships following his defeat in the Olympic first round. From the continental meet, he has two more silvers and one bronze each. In the 2015 World ChampionshipsShiva Thapa also took home the bronze medal.

Vikas Krishan

Three-time Olympian Vikas Krishan hails from the renowned Bhiwani Boxing Club and is another boxer. On February 10, 1992, he was born in Hisar, Haryana. In 2010, Vikas Krishan made waves by winning the lightweight youth world championship and winning bronze medal at the Youth Olympics. The Haryana boxer also took home gold medal from the Asian Games that year, and in 2011 he won bronze at the world championships. Medals from the Asian Games, Asian Championships, and Commonwealth Games are displayed in Vikas Krishan’s cabinet. Tokyo 2020, Rio 2016, and London 2012 were among his competitions.

Hawa Singh

Hawa Singh gained notoriety in the early years of Indian boxing by winning 11 consecutive national titles from 1961 to 1972. On December 16, 1937, Hawa Singh was born in Umarwas, Haryana. He enlisted in the army in 1956, and for the next ten years, he ruled the continent. Hawa Singh is the only Indian boxer to have successfully defended their title at the Asian Games after taking home gold medals in both 1966 and 1970. He was co-founder of the prominent Bhiwani Boxing Club after retiring.

Dingko Singh

One of the boxers who first made India famous was Dingko Singh. On January 1, 1979, he was born in Sekta, Manipur. Dingko Singh, member of the renowned Boys’ Army, made his debut on the international scene and took home the King’s Cup in Bangkok that same year. After year, he created history by becoming the first Indian boxer to win gold medal at the Asian Games in sixteen years, at the age of 54 kg. Mary Kom was inspired to start boxing by this gold medal. Additionally, Dingko Singh represented India in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. On June 10, 2021, he passed away from liver cancer.

Nikhat Zareen

In the 52kg division, Nikhat Zareen is the current Commonwealth Games champion and two-time world champion. In the Hangzhou Asian Games in 2023, she also took home bronze medal. Nikhat Zareen, bronze medallist at the Asian Championships and former junior world champion, was born in Nizamabad, Telangana, on June 14, 1996.

 

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