Thursday, October 16, 2008

My ring craze


India's best boxing medal hope at CYG, Sunil Sadhu's father and elder brother may have excelled in kabaddi but boxing is his first love

Suhrid Barua, Pune Mirror, October 14, 2008

It was the sport of kabaddi that dominated the Sadhu ménage. Father Sadhu Ram Siwach is a former international kabaddi player, who is currently serving as kabaddi coach with Haryana Police. Elder brother Satish Kumar is also a former national level kabaddi player. But yet, it was boxing that Sunil Sadhu had a penchant for.Sunil studied at the Happy Sister Senior Secondary School in Bhiwami, the same school where Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh took his early academic lessons.

So, there are no prizes for guessing where Sunil got his inspiration from.Vijender drive"I was in standard three while Vijender was in standard eight at that time," Sunil recalls. "I was used to seeing Vijender regularly win prizes at school assemblies. Just seeing him win laurels from such a young age gave me the drive and passion to wear the boxing gloves I see Vijender as my role model and want to do big things in the ring like he did in the Beijing Olympics.

No family disapproval

So how about any family 'disapproval' regarding picking up boxing considering that two senior family members had excelled in kabaddi. "My father may have excelled in kabaddi but he never forced me to take up the sport in which he dazzled. He gave me a free hand to pursue a sport which I like the most, Even my elder brother took a same stance and allowed me to opt for boxing," remarked the 18-year-old, who took the whole nation by storm when he won the 2006 world Under-17 boxing crown in Istanbul, Turkey.

Cautious

The talented pugilist, who has been talked about as the next big thing in Indian boxing, seems to have made the right noises in CYG. Dishing out a clinicial brand of boxing against JR Ronald Woodside, Sunil took his Bahamas opponent to the cleaners as the referee stopped the contest when the Indian jumped out to a robust 9-0 lead. "Beginning has been good. But I need to guard against complacency as I gear up for my quarterfinal bout against Zambia's Peter Shulla on Wednesday.
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