From Karnal To Paris: Meet Nishant Dev, The First Indian Male Boxer To Secure A Berth In Paris Olympics

Young sensation Nishant Dev became the first Indian male boxer to secure a berth in the Paris Olympics. Nishant has booked his spot for the Paris Olympics after beating Moldova’s Vasile Cebotari 5-0 in the men’s 71kg quarterfinals at the World Boxing Qualifiers in Bangkok.

Nishant has been one of the most consistent boxers in recent times. With every jab, hook, and punch, the grace with which this young boy moves around in the ring has gained him love and respect from around the world.

Here, in this article, we bring you a few lesser-known facts about Nishant Dev. Have a look:

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Journey From Haryana’s Karnal to the Paris Olympics:

Hailing from Haryana’s Karnal district, Nishant Dev has had an inspiring journey, so far. Nishant’s father and his uncle played incredible roles in his career.

While Dev was inspired by his uncle, who was a pro boxer himself, on the other hand, his father helped him in his training. His father used to wake him up at 4 in the morning and would take him to train and follow the same routine in the evening, to ensure training of his son. Dev started his boxing career in the year 2012. He used to train at the Karan stadium under coach Surender Chauhan.

In 2021, the 23-year-old young talent first rose to fame as he reached the light middle-weight (71kg) quarterfinal in his maiden world championship appearance. In his childhood, Nishant dislocated his right shoulder in 2010 after falling from the stairs. His injury came back to haunt him at the beginning of 2022 as the rods were put in his shoulder.

Despite his back issues, he made a strong comeback to retain his title at the National Boxing Championships in Hisar in January 2023.

Two years after his maiden world championship appearance, he had a bronze medal in the world championship around his neck and now he is all set to represent the country in the Paris Olympics.

However, the journey so far wasn’t easy for Nishant. Two months ago, he wasn’t in a good space after losing his Olympic quota bout to 2021 World Championships silver medallist Omari Jones of the USA. Nishant started on a brilliant note, during his fight against Jones, taking an early lead, however, it still wasn’t enough.

So, now when the opportunity knocked on his door again to book his flight for the Paris Olympics this time at the World Olympic Qualification tournament in Bangkok, he didn’t want to take any risk. Riding on his brilliant performances in all three bouts, Nishant has booked a spot for him in the Paris Olympics.

Talking about his quota-deciding bout against Moldova’s Vasile Cebotari, the 23-year-old said:

“I was better prepared this time, physically and mentally. I lost in the previous qualifier by a very small margin, so this time I wanted to make sure I did not make any errors. I lost the first round to the US boxer 5-0 and then I had to pick myself up in the next two rounds. It didn’t go in my favor. In the ring, I could not understand what had happened but when I went to the changing room, it dawned on me what I had lost. I was heartbroken for the next few days.”

“I am god-gifted….” – Nishant Dev

While the Indian fans are going gaga over his achievement, Nishant boldly declares himself “god-gifted” He calls himself a perfect balance of speed, timing, and power, which he believes defines a champion boxer. Nishant feels that his skills and the correct usage of strength will play a crucial role when he takes on the ring at the 2024 Games.

Answering a query by IANS, the Indian boxer said, “Hard work and smart work, that is my way of training. Firstly, I will focus on hard work, train harder, and keep improving my strengths and then smart work, give my body proper rest, and keep it hydrated before the Olympics.”

“I am god-gifted. I have power, speed, and timing. But the main thing is power, but I don’t use it unnecessarily. ‘Pagalo ki tarah nahi bas marate raho aankhe band kar ke’ (Not like hitting an opponent blindfolded and getting tired). I use it when needed. Skills are more important when you enter the ring.”

“Like this time (during Olympic qualifiers), I was going for body shots, body punches. Because body punches are painful and can make the opponent breathless,” Dev said in an interaction with select media on Wednesday.

Nishant Dev is said to be India’s best bet at the Paris Olympics. He is sharper, stronger, and hungrier – could this mean an end to India’s wait of 16-years?

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