Kolkata: While the Indian boxing continent tried to practice valuable exercises in the Asian Championships in Dubai last week before the Tokyo Olympics, one of their medal hopefuls had to remain satisfied by hitting the ring in Patiala at home. A battle of COVID-19, though asymptomatic, laid him low and there was no choice but to skip the opportunity. “I’m doing well and I’m back in training. “Yes, it would have been good to play in Dubai, because it was our last meeting before Tokyo, but you have no control over certain things,” said an excited Kaushik from India, currently world number five in the 63rd. kg class. The 25-year-old army recently underlined his credentials when the Bok-Bok international tournament in March in Spain, the lighter welterweight boxer was the only one from India to win a gold. The road to the final was not easy, because before defeating Denmark’s Teteryan Nikolai in a 3-2 decision, Kaushik prevailed over Safiullin Zakir, then world number four. ‘He (Zakir) is a top boxer. It was a wonderful experience. It was my first competition after the qualifiers and winning gold and beating Zakir was fantastic. There was a lot of pressure. “I was eager to know how my body would react to the injury,” he said. Talk to Golf News In an exclusive interview by phone, Kaushik said the nine-member Indian, including himself who qualified for Tokyo himself last year, is fairly well prepared for the Olympics, despite the pandemic that ruined their schedule for more than a year has. ‘Previously, there would have been only one boxer out of each weight category who would have been allowed to go abroad to train or play competition. That has now changed with the second, third and sometimes even fourth position boxers being sent abroad to practice. It helped us a lot, ” he said.
The World Cup, scheduled for February in Paris, was canceled at the last minute with the second wave of the pandemic in sight, but Kaushik feels it does not make much difference to their plans. ” Yes, it would provide opportunities for two to three other boxers for India, but not those who have already qualified, ” said Kaushik, who hails from the Bhiwani district of Haryana. It was not an easy ride for Kaushik just after the cancellation of Tokyo last year, he suffered a bicep tear and was out of action for several months. He acknowledged that his coach, Jai Singh Patil, had put him on the road again and said: ‘My coach has helped me a lot. I watch a lot of videos of my opponents to analyze it. It helps me to know them better and predict what they can do during a match. I’m working on my defense now because I think it will make me a more complete boxer. ‘ It is no surprise that an aspiring boxer from Bhiwani will be an admirer of the hometown hero Vijender Singh, India’s first medalist in Olympic Games with a bronze in Beijing in 2008. ‘Vijender and MCMary Kom are the two boxers we ‘gave confidence that we too can dream of bringing Olympic Games medals,’ ‘he said. When asked who could be his main opponent in the pursuit of a gold medal in his kg class in Tokyo, Kaushik singled out Andy Cruz from Cuba and Sofiane Oumiha from France. The road in front of him is rocky, but Kaushik looks for the challenge.