When Mohammad Hussamuddin was selected for the 2023 World Championships, many were surprised that it was the experienced boxer’s maiden campaign.
The 29-year-old, who has been boxing in international tournaments for over a decade, missed out on the marquee-event a few times in the past. But he seized his opportunity and returned with a bronze medal from Tashkent.
The shade of his medal could have changed had a knee injury not forced him to withdraw a little over an hour before his semifinal bout.
In the past 10 months, Hussamuddin has won a hat-trick of bronze medals in international events -- Commonwealth Games, Asian Championships and World Championships -- while also clinching the 57kg national title.
The Nizamabad pugilist has pegged down his successful run to the birth of his daughter.
“My daughter was born just before the Commonwealth Games when we were training in Belfast. At that time only I knew she will bring me luck,” Hussammudin told PTI on Tuesday.
At the Worlds, Hussamuddin won his first three bouts by a unanimous verdict before eking out a 4-3 split decision victory in the quarterfinals.
“I was happy to finally be selected for the tournament but I also felt that I had to win a medal. I had to prove myself because I had missed 2-3 Worlds before.” He was in scintillating form as he dug into his reservoir of experience to outbox his opponents. He also reaped the benefits of listening to the new foreign coach Dmitry Dmitruk and High Performance Director Bernard Dunne.
“I was up against some of the boxers who I had already fought before so I knew there game.
“The coaches and I sat and made plans. The coaches asked me to work on 1-2 punches and that really helped me. Left feinting was one of them. I feint and then punch from my left.” A feint is a deceptive movement or punch during a fight. By using feints, a boxer can leave his/her opponent confused and guessing what the next move will be.
Hussamuddin was confident that had the injury not cut short his campaign he would have gone the distance.
“My bout was going well but in the last 10 seconds I lost my balance when he pushed me. I knew it that time that something was wrong.
“The physio and doctor checked me. Next day when I was trying to hit a punch during training, I was not able to stand, was not able to side step or go back. But then also we decided to wait till the day of the bout.
“I was very disappointed but the coaches explained to me that even if I play I wouldn’t be able to give my 100 per cent and risked aggravation and there are important tournaments coming up.” Hussamuddin has been advised to undergo physiotherapy and the doting father hopes that everything else goes well, he will be allowed to do it in Nizamabad.
After this short break, the preparation for the Asian Games, which is the first qualifier for next year’s Paris Olympics, will begin.
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