Kavinder Singh Bisht has made it a habit of beating world championship medallists. Two years ago, the man from Uttarakhand had bludgeoned his way past Algeria’s Mohamed Flissi at the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Hamburg.
Unfortunately, with a medal appearing within reach, he lost in the quarters to Inkyu Kim of South Korea to return home empty-handed.
On Monday, Bisht stunned Kazakhstan’s Kairat Yeraliyev — the gold medallist at the 2017 World Boxing Championships — in the quarter-final of the 56kg category to secure a medal, and a bout against Mongolia’s Kharkhuu Enkh-Amar.
“I had first seen Yeraliyev box two years ago at the same World Championships where I had suffered defeat in the quarters. So I know how to dissect his game plan,” Bisht told Firstpost over the phone from Bangkok on Wednesday, a rest day for the tournament.
On being asked what his secret was for beating world championships medallists, Bisht offered a simple answer. “I don’t stress about the fact that they’re world championship medallists. I look at some footage of theirs to figure out their style, but I box the way I want to without giving them too much credit,” he said before going to illustrate his point.
“I was not even aware that Flissi was the World No 3 in our weight class and a world championships medallist when I fought him two years ago,” he confessed.
Ask him about his next opponent, Enkh-Amar, and you get another nonchalant reply. “I haven’t seen his videos yet. But I assume he must fight well since he’s in the semis.”
Despite having secured a medal, Bisht says it is critical for him to settle for nothing less than gold at the Asian Championships.
The 56kg weight class has emerged as one of the most competitive weight classes in Indian boxing with three genuine contenders — 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championship bronze medallist Gaurav Bidhuri, Gold Coast Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin and Bisht — vying for the one spot available at any top-level event.
“If I win gold, I will be India’s entry in my weight class (56kg) to the 2019 World Championships (to be held from 7-21 September at Russia’s Yekaterinburg). So I need this victory. Otherwise, I’ll have to go through trials,” said Bisht.
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Updated Date: Apr 25, 2019 10:23:37 IST