Boxing’s national observer Akhil Kumar enrolls for coaching course at NIS

Indian boxing’s national observer Akhil Kumar is all set to foray into coaching and has enrolled for a one-year diploma course at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala.

Akhil has been among India’s top performers in the ring, having won medals at the Asian and Commonwealth championships besides making the quarterfinals of the 2008 Beijing Olympics after a memorable win over the then world champion Sergey Vodopyanov.   -  AFP

Indian boxing’s national observer Akhil Kumar is all set to foray into coaching and has enrolled for a one-year diploma course at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala.

The 2006 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, who has also tried his hand at professional boxing some months back, will start the course on July 11. He is also a serving DSP in the Haryana Police but has been granted permission to pursue the one-year course.

“Even when I was an active boxer, I had mentored some juniors and by completing this course, I would be certified. I am grateful to Haryana Police DGP Baljit Singh Sandhu for permission to undertake this course,” Akhil said.

The 37-year-old Akhil has been among India’s top performers in the ring, having won medals at the Asian and Commonwealth championships besides making the quarterfinals of the 2008 Beijing Olympics after a memorable win over the then world champion Sergey Vodopyanov.

The maverick boxer enjoyed a rockstar image in his amateur days thanks largely to a perilously low guard and is currently the national observer for the sport, tasked with the job of giving progress reports and monitoring selections.

The boxers he has mentored while being an active competitor include Olympic quarterfinalist and Asian bronze-medallist Jitender Kumar, and Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Mandeep Jangra among others.

“Akhil bhai has loads of experience to offer. He has been such an avid student of the game and he gets deeply involved when it comes to mentoring. It will be nice to have a proven Indian performer as a coach,” said former CWG gold-medallist Suranjoy Singh.

Suranjoy had been roped in as an assistant coach in the national camp but left the stint due to personal reasons.

“It’s important to have a strong Indian presence in the coaching circuit. And who better than Akhil bhai,” added another boxer.