Last week India lost a legendary figure in the world of boxing. Kaur Singh, a heavyweight boxer who made history as the only Indian to win a gold medal in the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games, passed away at the age of 74. Hailing from Sangrur, Punjab, Kaur’s life and achievements stand as a testament to his dedication, perseverance, and pride for his country.
Kaur Singh’s journey began when he joined the Sikh Regiment of the Indian Army in the early 1970s. It was here that he discovered his passion for boxing, going on to become the Asian champion in 1980. His unwavering commitment to the sport extended beyond his time in the Army; after joining the Punjab Police, Kaur continued to coach and motivate others, even leading the team at the Hyderabad National Championships in 2007.
Throughout his career, Kaur Singh received numerous accolades, including the prestigious Arjuna Award and Padma Shri. He also represented India in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. However, it was his unforgettable exhibition bout against the iconic Muhammad Ali in 1980 that solidified his place in boxing history. Kaur remains the only Indian to have fought against the legendary athlete.
Kaur’s prowess in the ring was undeniable, as former India coach G.S. Sandhu noted, “He was unmatched in terms of fitness, endurance, and power. He dominated the bouts due to his fitness.” Kaur’s contributions extended beyond the boxing arena as well. Following his retirement, Kaur returned to his village, where he focused on farming and improving the lives of those around him. Locals remember Kaur as a selfless figure who worked tirelessly to bring canal water to their village and secure essential facilities for the community.
In July 2022, a biopic titled “Kaur Singh” was released, celebrating the life and legacy of this extraordinary athlete. The film depicted the struggles and triumphs Kaur faced throughout his career, including his reluctance to accept prize money from governments. Actor Karam Bathh portrayed the iconic boxer, bringing Kaur’s story to life for a new generation of fans.
Kaur Singh’s passing leaves behind a legacy of passion, commitment, and unwavering love for his country. His story, one of triumph and dedication, will continue to inspire future generations of athletes and serve as a reminder of what it means to be a true Pride of India.