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Asian Games gold medallist boxer Kaur Singh passes away

Heavyweight boxer Kaur Singh, the lone home boxer to land a gold medal in the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games and who was also known for his exhibition bout with the legendary Muhammad Ali in 1980, passed away on Thursday. He was 74.

Hailing from Sangrur, Punjab, Kaur, who learnt boxing after joining the Sikh Regiment of the Indian Army in the early 1970s, hogged the limelight by becoming the Asian champion in 1980.

“Kaur Singh was devoted to boxing. He was always ahead during training, had strong willpower and used to motivate others. Even after leaving the Army, during his employment with Punjab Police, he remained associated with the sport. He coached Punjab Police at the Hyderabad National championships in 2007,” B.B. Mohanty, a retired Dronacharya award-winning coach who worked with Kaur, told  Sportstar.

“Kaur Singh was the first from the Sikh Regiment to get the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri. He also competed in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics.”

Mohanty recalled an interesting incident from the 1982 Asian Games. “Even though Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was present, film star Amitabh Bachchan put the gold medal around Kaur Singh’s neck. Bachchan was impressed with Kaur Singh, who was a few inches taller than the superstar,” said Mohanty.

Former India coach G.S. Sandhu paid his tribute to Kaur Singh. “He was unmatched in terms of fitness, endurance and power. He dominated the bouts due to his fitness,” said Sandhu.

In a statement, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) grieved over Kaur Singh’s passing.

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