“Padhai likhai kar lo, boxing se kya milega (What’s going to you acquire from boxing)?” Deepak Kumar distinctly remembers this query that his mother and father and grandmother had posed again in 2008 when he determined that he belonged within the ring. 10 years down the road, he was prepared along with his solutions — a nationwide champion in 2018, a silver medallist in his maiden Asian Championship look in 2019 and final week, he stunned the reigning Olympic and world champion at one of many oldest and most prestigious occasions in Europe, the Strandja Memorial in Bulgaria, earlier than securing a closely-fought silver.
“It was my chachaji (uncle) who felt I could possibly be a boxer and do not ask me why, as a result of I do not know. He wished to be one however couldn’t as a result of there was no one to information him,” the 23-year-old instructed PTI in an interview after touchdown again within the nation.
The teen hails from Haryana’s Hisar — the ”Metropolis of Metal” as they name it for being India’s largest producer of galvanised iron.
It additionally gave Indian boxing one among its most profitable names in Vikas Krishan Yadav, a two-time Olympian, a world championship medallist and in addition an Asian Video games champion.
Deepak is sort of happy concerning the gradual strides he’s taking in direction of “making it actually massive some day.”
“Chachaji (Ravinder Kumar) had a good friend circle which was intently linked to boxing and he type of prodded me into taking over the game and I preferred it. I’m the primary sportsperson in my household, such a proud feeling. And Chachaji is attending to reside his dream by me,” he mentioned.
A Naib Subedar within the Indian Military, Deepak recalled the time he introduced up his curiosity in boxing along with his residence guard father and residential maker mom.
“They wished me to concentrate on schooling. They each mentioned ‘what is going to you acquire from this?’…My grand mom joined in too however then my uncle persevered and so did I. Ultimately, all of them got here round,” he mentioned.
“It isn’t that I had a tough upbringing, I used to be taken care of however I at all times wished to be self-reliant and assist my mother and father.
“So, in my early years, I used to do the job of assortment for a good friend’s newspaper merchandising company. No, I wasn’t a vendor myself, I simply generally went and did the gathering of funds.
“It was like incomes some pocket cash to maintain a few of my dietary wants,” he recalled.
As for schooling, Deepak intends to pursue his commencement in arts, now that he has discovered his footing within the boxing area.
The soft-spoken pugilist went to Strandja for the primary time. The European season-opener is an enormous draw for the massive names and he upstaged one of many greatest — world champion Shakhobiddin Zoirov of Uzbekistan — within the semifinal.
“It was big and I can say that is is the most important medal of my profession, greater than Asian Championship as a result of there I used to be competing in 49kg, which wasn’t precisely my consolation zone. 52kg is the place I belong,” he mentioned.
“Strandja was an infinitely extra enriching expertise. I learnt how assured I could possibly be even towards the massive guys,” he added, recalling the slender ultimate loss to two-time European silver-medallist Daniel Asenov.
He dominated two of the three rounds in that bout however did not discover favour with the judges.
Talking of his most well-liked weight class, how does he view the competitors for a spot with world number one Amit Panghal, the reigning Asian Video games and Asian champion?
In truth, Panghal has already booked the class for Tokyo Olympics by qualifying final yr.
“No, it does not have an effect on me. I’ll create my very own house in occasions to return. Mujhe milega par der se milega (I’ll get my due however somewhat later), I do know that and I’m prepared for the lengthy haul,” he asserted.
For now, the teen is making an attempt to shake off an irritating bout of chilly earlier than rejoining the nationwide camp by the tip of this week in Patiala.
“Nothing to fret right here, I’ve been examined (for COVID-19) and it’s damaging,” he laughed.
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