PERSPECTIVE
The untold story of Kaur Singh – A forgotten Indian boxer who fought Muhammad Ali
as Personality - Shantanu Prasher*
The untold story of Kaur Singh – A forgotten Indian boxer who fought Muhammad Ali



Muhammad Ali was the greatest boxer to have ever graced the ring. While Ali will be forever remembered, Kaur Singh, the only Indian boxer to have ever faced Ali in the ring, has remained completely unknown. This is the story of the Kaur Singh.
 
It was 1980; Ali was to have a stopover in Delhi. Upon learning about the same, Rajiv Gandhi, while still not an active politician, convinced Ali to showcase his legendary talent to the people of Delhi. The ring was set. Ali had put on his gloves and so had Kaur Singh. Fifty thousand people turned up to see the legend, not the fight. Kaur, at this time, was no amateur. He was the national heavy weight champion and couldn't believe that he was to share deuces with his idol. Kaur had a rather rough experience in the ring but for him, it was a memory that will go to his grave with him. Two years later, in 1982, Kaur Singh won gold at the Asian Games.
  
Twenty-six years later, in 2016, Ali died as an unforgettable legend while Kaur Singh woke up every morning to plough his fields. He was a ghost to ‘netizens' till a little while ago. Kaur Singh earned the Arjuna Award in 1982, the Padmashri in 1983 and the Vishisht Sewa Medal (VSM) in 1988 from the Indian Army.  Today, he is a farmer in his native village of Khanal Khurd in Sangrur.  He gave up on boxing as a career after participating in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 and never let his children pursue boxing professionally, thanks to our bastardly government. Kaur is still to receive Rs 1 lakh promised to him 35 years ago by the Punjab government after he clutched gold at the Asiad Games. 
After retiring from the Indian army, Kaur took to farming for a living. He even developed a heart condition and a stent had to be installed in his heart. The state government never came forward to help the former star athlete. The Indian army paid for his treatment. Not only did he win six gold medals in international competitions but was also awarded a Sena Medal for bravery in the India-Pakistan war in Barmer sector in Rajasthan. It's sad to see how greats like Kaur are buried in history left for ruins because our government is busy talking about apparent development that we never actually witness.
 
It is tough to predict the future of sports like boxing considering what our sportsmen have been through.
 
(*Courtesy: mensxp.com)






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