This piece was published in Sportskeeda
Manoj Kumar has seen many ups and downs in his boxing career to know the essence of keeping his feet firmly planted on the ground irrespective of his exploits in the ring. The 27-year-old pugilist, supported by Olympic Gold Quest, is riding high on confidence after winning the gold medal in the light welterweight (64-kg) category at the recent Doha International Boxing Championship.
The Haryana boxer, who had first shot into prominence when he won the 2008 Senior Nationals in Bhatinda beating formidable Som Bahadur Pun, had won the gold at the 2010 New Delhi Commonwealth Games but was ‘surprisingly’ not picked for the 2010 Asian Games held a month later. Manoj, who is employed with Railways, and ranked number six in the world, spoke about his aspirations for the upcoming 2015 AIBA World Championships among others in an exclusive interview.
Q: How would you assess your gold-winning effort at the recent Doha International Boxing Championship, where India reaped a rich haul of four gold, one silver and two bronze medals?A: The competition in the Doha International Boxing Championship was stiff as boxers not just from Asia but also from Europe, Australia, etc took part. I won my light welterweight (64-kg) final bout against Filipino’s Magliquian Nicole 3-0. I was happy with the way I boxed and the gold medal victory at Doha will surely stand me in good stead for the 2015 AIBA World Championship, which will also be held in Doha later this year.
Q: You add rich experience to the Indian boxing team – you have boxed in three Asian Games, three Commonwealth Games, three World Championships as well as the 2012 London Olympics. Which has been your best boxing moment so far?
A: Of course winning gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in front of the home crowd has to be my biggest boxing moment. The gold win was special because I was out of the national team from 2008 to 2010 and the performance helped me to cement my spot in the 64-kg category.