Asian Games: Paris ticket in mind, India’s male boxers look to excel in Hangzhou

New Delhi:- With an eye on Paris Olympic quota, Indian men boxers are all set to take on the challenges at the Asian Games 2023, to be held in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8.

The boxing events at the Asian Games are scheduled to start on September 24.

Below are the profiles of Indian men’s boxers participating in the Games, as shared by BFI.

Deepak Bhoria (51kg) 
Date of Birth: 09/06/1997 
Hometown: Hisar, Haryana 
Stance: Orthodox

In 2008, when Deepak was just an 11-year-old he started boxing at the insistence of his uncle. His father was a constable and his mother, a homemaker, who also worked in the farms. Life was never easy. In 2009, due to dire financial constraints, young Deepak was forced to quit boxing as he couldn’t afford the expenses on diet and training which were a must to ensure he had a good physique and mental training.

His dreams of becoming a boxer were almost over, but his coach, Rajesh Sheoran helped him back into the ring. He helped him by paying his diet and training expenses. In 2011, when everything seemed to move smoothly, Deepak was struck by a mighty blow where he suffered a career-threatening fracture to his right hand. The fracture continued to trouble him for almost two years before he underwent surgery.

While everything looked uncertain about his professional career and he had started doubting himself, that injury gave Deepak new perspectives. While he was unable to move his right hand, he slowly strengthened his left hand which he says helped him a lot now as he is equally deft to fighting with both hands.

Despite the downhill that boxing faced with a dearth of competitive tournaments, Deepak never gave up. He continued with training but in 2015, life threw in a fresh set of challenges for the pugilist. The financial crisis was something which continued to haunt him, so much so that the boxer had to work as a newspaper vendor to sustain himself.

Finally, in 2016, there was some silver lining in the dark clouds. He joined Madras Engineering Group, Bangalore, and later that year, he also was selected by the Army Sports Institute, Pune. Since then, he has never looked back. 

2023 – Bronze at Men’s World Championships, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
2021 – Gold at National Championships, Bellary
2021 – Silver at Strandja Memorial, Bulgaria
2019 – Silver at Thailand Open
2019 – Asian Boxing Championships, Bangkok: Silver
2019 – Makran Cup, Iran: Gold
2018 – Senior National Boxing Championships: Gold
Sachin (57kg)
Date of Birth: 25/11/2002
Hometown: Mitathal, Bhiwani
Stance: Southpaw

Hailing from a humble farmer’s family, Sachin’s journey to the world of Boxing was through his uncle’s support, who is also a sportsman. His desire to become a boxer and represent India turned into reality when he was introduced to a boxing coach and then there was no looking back as he trained at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to become one of the best upcoming boxers in the country.

Sachin rose to prominence in 2021 when he won a gold medal at the World Youth Championships in Poland. However, it wasn’t an easy task as he had lost in the domestic selection trials of the Adriatic Pearl Tournament which was held before the youth championship. The psychological impact of losing a domestic trial was heavy but the pugilist worked hard for his dreams and then won a medal in Poland.
At the national Championships in 2021, he announced his arrival at the elite level after defeating 2017 World Championships bronze medallist Gaurav Bidhuri.

He couldn’t participate at the Asian Championships in Jordan in October 2022 as he underwent a surgery for appendicitis days before the championships. He came back strongly and won the gold medal at the National Championships in Hisar.

Sachin made his Elite Men’s World Boxing Championships debut in the 2023 edition of the competition Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In an impressive campaign for the youngster, he showed glimpses of his talent by making his way into the pre-quarters with some remarkable wins in the early rounds.

Achievements :
2023 – Men’s World Championships, Tashkent, Uzbekistan – Participated
2023 – Bronze medal at Strandja Memorial, Bulgaria
2023 – Gold medal at National Championships, Hisar
2022 – Bronze medal at Elorda Cup, Nur-sultan, Kazakhstan
2021 – Gold medal at World Youth Championships, Poland
2021 – Bronze medal at National Championships, Bellary
Shiva Thapa (63.5 Kg)
Date of Birth: 08/12/1993
Place of Birth: Guwahati, Assam
Stance: Orthodox

It has been an incredible rise for the Guwahati lad as he became the youngest Indian to qualify for the Olympics when he featured in the 2012 edition of the quadrennial event in London. Shiva was also the youngest boxer from India to win a gold medal at the 2013 Asian Championships which was held in Amman, Jordan.

Youngest amongst six siblings, Shiva carried boxing in his blood. His brother was a silver medallist boxer at the 33rd Guwahati Nationals. Following his footsteps, Shiva has now scaled immense success and is one of the most respected boxers in the World. He won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

Two-time Olympian Thapa continued his good work with two bronze medals in 2018, one in India Open International and one at the Ulaanbaatar Cup. Thapa started 2019 with a silver medal from the Gee Bee Boxing Tournament.

He created history last year when he became the first male pugilist to win six Asian Championships medals when he claimed silver medal in Jordan. His previous two silver medals came in 2017 and 2021. He also clinched the title in the 2013 edition and secured bronze medals in 2015 and 2019. He has been consistently winning medals since a decade and it’s a testimony to his longevity and talent.

The experienced pugilist will be looking to add an Asian Games medal to his illustrious medal tally.

Achievements  :
2023 – Men’s World Championships, Tashkent, Uzbekistan – Participated
2023 – Gold medal at National Championships, Hisar
2022 – Silver medal at Asian Championships, Jordan
2021 – Gold at National Championships, Bellary
2021 – Silver at Asian Championships, Dubai
2019 – Gold at Senior National Championships, Bellary
2019 – Gold at India Open, Guwahati
2019 – Bronze at Asian Championships, Bangkok
2019 – 38th Gee Bee Boxing Tournament, Helsinki, Finland: Silver
2018 – Asian Games, Jakarta: Participated
2018 – Ulaanbaatar Cup 2018; Mongolia: Bronze
2018 – WSB Boxer for Indian Tigers
2018 – India Open International Tournament; New Delhi: Bronze
2017 – Indian National Championships; Visakhapatnam: Silver
2017 – Grand Prix Tournament (Usti Nad Labem, CZE): Gold
2017 – Asian Boxing Championships; Tashkent: Silver
2016 – Indian National Championships; Guwahati: Gold
2016 – Olympic Games (Rio de Janeiro, BRA): Participant
2016 – Southeast Asian Games; Shillong: Gold
2015 – World Championships (Doha, QAT): Bronze
2015 – ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championships (Bangkok, THA): Bronze
2015 – Doha International Tournament (Doha, QAT): Gold
2014 – Commonwealth Games (Glasgow, SCO): 9th place
2013 – ASBC Asian Continental Championships (Amman, JOR): Gold
2013 – Korotkov Memorial Tournament (Khabarovsk, RUS): Bronze
2012 – London 2012 Olympic Games (London, GBR): Participant
2012 – AIBA Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament (Astana, KAZ): Gold
2012 – Grand Prix Usti Nad Labem (Ustinad Labem, CZE): Silver
2011 – Indian National Championships: Gold
2011 – Beogradski Pobednik Tournament (Belgrade, SRB): Gold
2011 – Indian National Games: Silver
2010 – Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games (Singapore, SIN): Silver
2010 – AIBA Youth World Championships (Baku, AZE): Silver
2009 – AIBA Junior World Championships (Yerevan, ARM): Bronze
2009 – Indian Junior National Championships: Gold
2008 – Indian Junior National Championships: Gold
2008 – Children of Asia Games (Yakutsk, RUS): Bronze
2008 – Heydar Aliyev Junior Cup (Baku, AZE): Gold
Nishant Dev (71 kg)
Date of Birth: 23/12/2000
Hometown: Karnal, Haryana
Stance: Southpaw

Nishant Dev burst onto the scene when he reached the quarter-finals of the Elite World Boxing Championship in 2021 in his debut International tournament. That, however, was just a glimpse of the talent that Nishant Dev possesses. Nishant bettered his previous editions standing by winning the bronze medal at 2023 edition of the IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships.

The 22-year-old displayed his ability through his world class performances by notching three wins by unanimous decisions and one by referee stopping the contest (RSC). 

Hailing from Haryana’s Karnal district, Nishant started boxing in 2012, after getting inspired by his uncle who was a professional boxer. He used to train at Karan stadium under coach Surender Chauhan. He remembers those days when his Father used to wake him up at 4 AM and accompany him to the training centre before going along with his son again in the evening to make sure that he gets to train properly.

Fitter, stronger and wiser, Nishant, is a fan of Floyd Mayweather

2023 – Bronze at Men’s World Championships, Tashkent, Uzbekistan
2023 – Gold medal at 6th Elite Men’s National Boxing Championship
2021-  Quarter-Final Finish at World Championships, Serbia
2021 – Gold medal at 5th Elite Men’s National Boxing Championship
2019 – Gold medal at Grand Slam Asian boxing championship
2019 – Silver medal at 4th elite men’s national boxing championship
2019 – Gold medal at 2nd Khelo India youth games
Lakshya Chahar (80 kg)
Date of Birth: 17/09/2001
Hometown: Jaipur, Rajasthan
Stance: Southpaw

Born in a middle class family, Lakshya’s boxing journey started when he was 14 years old. Lakshya’s elder brother was an aspiring boxer and used to do practice at the local academy. Lakshya who was good at studying had no interest in the sports but would accompany his brother at the academy sometimes. Gradually by watching his brother and other boxers practice in the academy, he developed an interest in boxing.

Lakshya’s parents were against his desire of making a career in boxing as he was a good student, but he was determined to try his hands in boxing. After a few days of trying to convince his parents, his father finally agreed but on one condition that only if he wins the gold medal at the Rajasthan State Championship.

Lakshya grabbed this opportunity with both hands and gave his best to ultimately win the gold at the Rajasthan State Championship which ultimately convinced his parents to let him pursue his passion of boxing.

To take his game to the next level, Lakshya shifted to Bhiwani, the place known as the Mini Cuba. The decision worked wonders for Lakshya as he went on to win the gold medal in first Khelo India Games held in New Delhi. From there onwards, he never looked back, continued his growth and participated in Youth World Championships 2018 and also won the gold medal at the youth nationals in 2019. Lakshya participated in the 2021 Elite Men’s World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia.

Lakshya gives credit of his success to his brother who made sure Lakshya got everything he wanted to focus on his training. Lakshya aims to win a gold medal at the upcoming Asian games and targets a podium finish at the Paris Olympics.

Achievements :
2022 – Asian Boxing World Championships – Participated
2021 – Boxing World Championships – Participated
2019 – Gold medal at Youth Nationals
2016 – Gold at the 25th memorial Julias Torma Tournament, Czech Republic

Sanjeet (92 Kg)
Date of Birth: 16-10-1995
Place of Birth: Rohtak, Haryana
Stance: Orthodox

About two years ago in 2021, boxer from Haryana Sanjeet made the headlines after winning the gold medal at the Asian Championships. As he defeated Rio Olympics silver medallists and five-time Asian Championships medallists in the Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan in the final. Sanjeet terms the win against Levit as the biggest moment of his career.

However, it wasn’t unusual for the Rohtak boy to beat big opponents. Earlier in 2018, a fan of two-time Olympic champion Vasyl Lomachenko, Sanjeet defeated the world champion bronze medalist Kazakh boxer Sanjar Tursunov in the final of the India Open International Boxing Championship in New Delhi.

Sanjeet took to boxing after watching his brother play. In fact, he started playing the sport so that he wouldn’t need to focus on studies. Initially, he faced some resistance from his parents who wanted him to focus on studies but Sajeet was clear about what he wanted. And when he started winning tournaments at state level, his parents got convinced and began supporting him.   

Injuries are part and parcel of an athlete’s life and it has not spared Sanjeet either. In 2019 a biceps injury kept him away from the Tokyo Olympics qualifiers and then he again suffered a shoulder injury during the 2021 World Championships that kept him out for a significant time.

He represented India at the 2022 CWG in Birmingham and started 2023 by winning the silver medal at the men’s Nationals and will now look to grab the podium finish at this year’s  Asian Games in Hangzhou, China on his way to fulfill his Olympic dreams.

2023: Silver at the National Championships, Hisar
2021: Gold at National Championships
2021: Men’s World Championship- Quarter finals
2021: Gold at Asian Championships, Dubai
2020: Gold at Alexis Vastine International Boxing Tournament, France
2019: World Championship quarter-finalist, Russia
2018: Senior Men’s National Boxing Championships, Pune: Gold
2018: India Open International Boxing Championship, New Delhi: Gold
2018: World Series of Boxing (WSB), Rohtak: 1 win
Narender Berwal (92+ kg)
Date of Birth: 14/11/1994
Hometown: Hisar, Haryana
Stance: Orthodox

Narender Berwal started boxing in 2009 and soon moved to SAI Centre to improve his skills and make a name for himself. He trained there for four years and won gold medals in two Youth National Boxing championships in 2011 and 2012 before joining the Indian Army in 2013.

Joining the Army changed Narender Berwal’s career as his training regime got more intense and the results became more consistent. He trained at ASI Pune and won numerous medals in the inter-services Boxing Championships which helped him prepare for bigger competitions.

He won the gold medal at the 2019 SAF Games in Nepal. 

Narender, who relies on his power and strength, won the gold medal at the National Championships in 2021 and finished in the quarter-finals at the World Championships in the same year. In October last year, he won a bronze at the Asian Men’s Boxing Championships. Narender. Narender reached the pre-quarters at IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships 2023 in Uzbekistan and would be looking to secure a medal at the Asian Games.

Achievements :
2023 – Men’s World Championships, Tashkent, Uzbekistan – Participated
2023 – Gold medal at 6th Elite Men’s National Boxing Championship
2022 – Bronze medal at Asian men’s boxing championship
2022 – Gold medal at 36th National Games
2021 – Gold medal at 5th Elite Men’s National Boxing Championship
2019 – Gold medal at South Asian Games
2019 – Gold medal at 4th Elite Men’s National Boxing Championship
2018 – Bronze medal at chemistry world cup
2015 – Silver medal at National Games