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Shattered dreams to World Championship medal: The story of Deepak Bhoria

Published at :May 11, 2023 at 3:15 AM
Modified at :May 11, 2023 at 3:15 AM
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Deepak Bhoria was selected ahead of Amit Panghal for the Boxing Worlds.

In 2008, when Deepak Bhoria was just an 11-year-old he started boxing at the insistence of his uncle. His father was a constable and his mother, a homemaker, who also worked in the farms. Life was never easy. In 2009, due to dire financial constraints, young Deepak was forced to quit boxing as he couldn't afford the expenses on diet and training which were a must to ensure he had a good physique and mental training.

Initial Struggles

His dreams of becoming a boxer were almost over, but his coach, Rajesh Sheoran helped him back into the ring. He helped him by paying his diet and training expenses. In 2011, when everything seemed to move smoothly, Deepak was struck by a mighty blow where he suffered a career-threatening fracture to his right hand. The fracture continued to trouble him for almost two years before he underwent surgery.

While everything looked uncertain about his professional career and he had started doubting himself, that injury gave Deepak new perspectives. While he was unable to move his right hand, he slowly strengthened his left hand which he says helped him a lot now as he is equally deft to fighting with both hands.

Despite the downhill that boxing faced with a dearth of competitive tournaments, Deepak never gave up. He continued with training but in 2015, life threw in a fresh set of challenges for the pugilist. The financial crisis was something which continued to haunt him, so much so that the boxer had to work as a newspaper vendor to sustain himself.

The Comeback

Finally, in 2016, there was some silver lining in the dark clouds.He joined Madras Engineering Group, Bangalore, and later that year, he also was selected by the Army Sports Institute, Pune. Since then, he has never looked back. His financial crisis was taken care of and his career saw an upswing. Deepak won a gold medal at 2018 Senior National Championship and in 2019 he won a gold medal at the Makran Cup on international debut.

Deepak carried that confidence into the 2019 Asian Boxing Championships and stormed into the final, where he had to settle for the silver in a tight match that went in favour of Nodirjon Mirzakhmedov of Uzbekistan 3-2.

He announced himself on the global stage in 2021 when he defeated the 2016 Rio Olympic gold medallist and 2019 World Champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan at the Strandja Memorial tournament. 2022 was a tough year for Deepak as he sustained an injury in his right shoulder in January and almost spent the whole year on the sidelines because of that.

Deepak, who has been one of the most improved and developed boxers in recent times, will be fighting for a medal in the 51kg Flyweight category in the ongoing World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Achievements:

2023 - Gold at National Championships, Hisar2021 - Gold at National Championships, Bellary2021 - Silver at Strandja Memorial, Bulgaria2019 - Silver at Thailand Open2019 - Asian Boxing Championships, Bangkok: Silver2019 - Makran Cup, Iran: Gold2018 - Senior National Boxing Championships: Gold

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