This is the best phase of Indian boxing, asserts Akhil Kumar

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This is the best phase of Indian boxing, asserts Akhil Kumar

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SportsCafe Desk

03/29/2019

Indian boxer Akhil Kumar has stated that the current phase is the best one on the Indian boxing circuit for both men and women categories. Akhil also opined that there are a lot of talented pugilists in India and the country will win at least a couple of medals in the 2020 Olympics.

Although there is a lot of uncertainty regarding boxing’s participation in the upcoming Olympics to be held in Tokyo next year, Akhil is quite confident of the Indian contingent’s performance at the Games in Japan. The Commonwealth Games gold-medallist from the 2006 edition is of the opinion that the Indian boxers who are taking part in different international events recently are the best India has.

"At present, I can stick out my neck and say that this is the best phase of Indian boxing - for both men and women. We have a lot of talented boxers and I'm confident that we are definitely going to win at least two medals during the Tokyo Olympics," Akhil told TOI in Chandigarh.

India had bagged only two medals in the last Asian Games in Indonesia which Akhil thinks could have been better. Amit Panghal had clinched a gold medal while Vikas Krishnan had claimed a bronze medal at the Asiad in August last year.

Akhil also spoke about the changes in weight categories ahead of the Tokyo Olympics. International Boxing Association (AIBA) has decided that the men’s section will have eight divisions which was previously 10. On the other hand, there will be five weight categories for the female pugilists as per the new divisions. 

"It's not a new thing for world boxing. There have been changes in weight categories in the past too. For example, in Sydney Olympics there were 12 weight categories then there were 11 in 2004 and the 2008 Olympics. In the 2012 London Olympics, the weight categories were reduced to ten. When I competed in Beijing, I competed in bantam-weight category before it was made 56kg. In the World Championships in Milan, I competed in the 57kg category and then it was changed to 60kg. So it is nothing new. The issue, however, will be how a coach trains his ward for a particular weight category since the training earlier was totally focusing on another weight category," Akhil said.

The Bhiwani-born boxer has now enrolled himself in the National Institute of Sports in Patiala for a one-year diploma course in coaching. He now wants to take up the role of a mentor for the young pugilists in India after the completion of the course.  

"Even when I was an active boxer, I had mentored several young boxers. By completing this course, I would now have a certification. I have loads of experience to offer. I have been an avid student of the game and get deeply involved when it comes to helping out young pugilists. Budding boxers in India need a proven performer to be their coach," the 37-year-old concluded.

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