The untold story of Kaur Singh – A forgotten Indian boxer who fought Muhammad Ali
Kaur Singh has been waiting to get the INR I Lac reward money he earned 34 years ago.
New Delhi: Arguably the boxing world's greatest ever, Muhammad Ali has been an idol for numerous established and aspiring boxers. While many would consider even a glimpse of the legend as a lifelong achievement, an Indian boxer actually fought Mohammad Ali.
India's Kaur Singh, who is an Arjuna awardee Olympian, boxed against Ali an exhibition bout in 1980.
Kaur Singh, who was given Arjuna Award in 1982 and the Padmashri in 1983, has also been awarded with the Vishisht Sewa Medal (VSM) in 1988 by the Indian Army.
Not just that, at the peak of his career, he also won gold in the men's heavyweight category for India, during 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi.
It has often been seen that parents from sports background often encourage their children to follow the same path, but it wasn't the case with Kaur, who decided against letting his children experience life in the middle of boxing ring.
The 1984 Los Angeles Olympics was the last time Kaur Singh wore boxing gloves, before settling for a farmer's profession in his native village Khanal Khurd in Sangrur.
Surprisingly, the man who won a gold medal in the New Delhi Asiad and was deservedly promised a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh, has been waiting for 34 years to get his own money from Punjab government.
Not just that, even when he had a heart problem and needed a stent, the state government refused to help
p him and thankfully the Indian army pitched in to do the needul.
It's not just boxing for which he made his name, Singh was alswo awarded with a Sena medal for his exemplary bravery in the India-Pakistan war in Rajasthan.
Despite a short career, he won six gold medals in the international competitions, including the 1982 Asiad.
It is tough to predict the future of sports like boxing considering what our sportsment have been through.