This photograph, particularly this gold medal, could be very particular to me. That is the 1998 Asian Video games Bangkok, Thailand whereby Ding’KO Singh surprised all people by beating world-class boxers one after one other, on his method to the gold.
Within the preliminary spherical, he beat world No. 3 who was well-known in Asia too. Thereafter, he beat world No. 7 within the semis and ultimately went on to win the gold medal for India.
So his progress in direction of the gold medal in the course of the Asian Championship was distinctive and crammed with lots of pleasure that actually uplifted Indian boxing.
Ding’KO Singh is a narrative of that profitable spirit!
The grassroots degree boxing that began in India within the type of sub-junior boxing is the basis reason behind Indian boxing success as we speak!
And Ding’KO was the primary instance, being the sub-junior nationwide champion, junior nationwide champion that was picked up by the Indian Navy group to nurture him additional. Navy coaches then introduced him to Mumbai, the bottom of the Navy boxing group at INS Hamla, Malad.
I’ve identified Ding’KO Singh since then. He was additionally chosen to signify Maharashtra in Nationals since he was part of Mumbai and Maharashtra boxing exercise, being primarily based in INS Hamla.
This Manipuri fighter had, based on me, the most popular blood that I’ve ever come throughout.
Temperamentally, the very hot-headed Ding’KO was very sharp and on the identical time possessed terribly scientific boxing expertise. Very proud, who all the time held his nostril excessive at any time when he was not boxing!
However within the ring, I’ve all the time seen his nostril down and guard up all the time. A really, very scientific method of boxing, he was very fast, very swift and really exact. His left hook – proper cross mixture, would ground the most effective boxers chins and I’ve seen a lot of them happening like fallen handkerchiefs, the place the boxers had been hit swiftly on their chins and with out realising, the subsequent second their knees buckled and so they fell there itself the place they had been standing a second in the past.
Ding’KO’s rise, coming into prominence and his type – I used to be very fortunate to have seen all that from shut proximity. Not solely as a result of he was a Mumbai-based boxer, however I’ve been a referee decide, I bear in mind particularly in 1997 Nationwide Video games at Bangalore, the place I labored as an announcer more often than not and 1998 Ambala Senior Nationals, the place Ding’KO Singh was simply untouchable, simply unstoppable and on the prime of his type the place he demolished and destroyed all of his opponents with extraordinary expertise, velocity & precision.
Dingko – was very particular to me. When you discover, I all the time wrote ‘D’ in capital, ‘ing’ in small letters and ‘KO’ in daring capital letters since he used to ‘KO’ a lot of his opponents and I favored it.
When he got here again from Bangkok I used to be there to obtain him at Mumbai together with your entire Navy group and Kishen Narsi, worldwide referee, to obtain him like a hero.
His rise as a boxer gave India that much-needed confidence: Sure, we will do it. In actual fact, Dingko Singh’s success in 1998 was step one in India’s rise internationally.
We certainly had some nice boxers earlier than Ding’KO too. Our boxing was all the time good and India’s efficiency within the 1986 Asian Video games was the most effective performances ever. Nonetheless, Ding’KO’s efficiency, rise and success in 1998 Video games gave us that much-needed perception that “Sure, We will do it. We do have class …”
And that Ding’KO spirit was carried on by all of the hard-working coaches and boxers in India and no matter we’re profitable as we speak, I’d say that was step one in direction of the success journey of Indian boxing.
Ding’KO was certainly very near my coronary heart and he had nice love and respect for me too. Immediately I bear in mind his accidents, his arduous occasions when he fought like a real champion. I bear in mind younger Ding’KO once we had taken him to Dr Anant Joshi for his wrist damage and his latest fightback final yr when he was airlifted in an emergency. I bear in mind many different events after he hung up his gloves as effectively, the place he would name and communicate very respectfully to me however in that respect, I might really feel that love for me and that’s why my coronary heart could be very very heavy as we speak as I misplaced one of many biggest boxers India has ever produced whose whole journey I had seen from an in depth quarter.
Ding’KO, you gave us that much-needed confidence and naturally Ding’KO you’ll dwell without end in our hearts and your preventing spirit will assist us take Indian boxing forward.
Relaxation in peace, Ding’KO. We pray to God Almighty for ‘shanti’ to your soul and I’m certain from up there in heaven, you can be watching over the next-gen younger & budding boxers and I’m certain, you too will bless them with success like yours.
*Adios Ding’KO. You’re amongst us, without end . . .*
Written by Jay Kowli, former secretary-general, Boxing Federation of India