He is the youngest Indian boxer to strike gold at the Asian Boxing Championships, but teen sensation Shiva Thapa hardly has any time to rest on his laurels as he has already set his sights on the World Championships to be held in Almaty, Kazakhstan in October.
Besides Shiva’s (56kg) gold, L. Devendro Singh (49kg) and Mandeep Jangra (69kg) fetched silver medals while Manoj Kumar (64kg) settled for a bronze as the team finished joint second in the overall standings. “…I will just take a short trip to home for 3-4 days and head straight back to Patiala (national camp) to prepare for the World Championships,” said the Assam-lad. “Celebrations can happen later, now is the time to just focus and train as hard as we can because a World Championships medal is something else altogether.” .
Shiva said the Asian Championships provided valuable exposure to the new scoring system, under which there are no live updates anymore.
“At this event, we realised that it is all about making the first impression because if the judges get a feeling that the boxer is not attacking enough, it is extremely difficult to make a comeback,” he said. “If you lose the first round even by a point, it is very tough to win the next two. So, it is important that you attack in every round,” added his Manipuri roommate Devendro.
Boxing never a career choice: Mandeep
The first time Mandeep Jangra tried his hand in boxing he ended up being thrashed by none other than his own father. “Boxing was never on my mind as a career. I just went to see a bout and there somebody taught me how to punch. I ended up coming late to home and when I told where I was, dad thrashed me and locked me in a room,” he recalled. “Then we struck a deal. He said ‘do what you feel like but get good marks’ and I followed that… ” he said. “It took me one year to convince my parents but I succeeded.”PTI