Mohammad Hussamuddin in full preparations for the Asian championships

Early in his career, Mohammad Hussamuddin realised boxing wasn’t about brute strength but centred more round technique.

Mohammad Hussamuddin hails from a family of pugilists. As the youngest and baby of the team of six brothers, four of them into the sport seriously, he was initially a little afraid to do don the gloves. Under the benign gaze of his father Mohammad Samsamuddin, who taught the craft at the Collectorate grounds in Nizamabad, north Telangana, he stepped into the ring.

In time, he would outshine his siblings, his rise in the discipline a little slow but steady. Early in his career, he realised boxing wasn’t about brute strength but centred more round technique. Having established himself in state level competitions, he ventured into the national scene with the 2009 Junior Nationals at Aurangabad, Maharashtra, where he claimed a bronze medal.

During the January 2010 Panchayat Yuva Krida Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA) Nationals in Punjab, he went a step further to clinch silver in the event conducted by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs.

It was again silver in the May 2011 Youth Nationals at Kakinada and ditto in the following year’s edition of the same competition at Patiala, Punjab. Hussam struck gold on his very first foray into the senior Nationals at Guwahati in December last year.

Realising that his talent would blossom best in the army, he enrolled at 1 EME Centre, outside Secunderabad, which was the launch-pad for Flying Sikh Milkha Singh’s soaring career. Coaching from Narender Rana at the Army Sports Institute in Pune and subsequently from Kuttappa fine-tuned his skills well, especially his blocking that bolstered his defence considerably.

The 166 cm tall boxer’s potential was spotted early and in 2011, he was sent to a fortnight-long stint of training and competition to Havana, Cuba. A year later, he took part in the October 2012 Tammer Cup in Finland. In the following month, he was at the Youth World championship in Yerevan, Armenia.

In July 2014, he competed at the China Open in Guiyang. His barren run in international outings ended with bronze at the 2015 Military World Games in South Korea. His pet right hook landed the silver in Strandja, Bulgaria in February, earlier this year. He lost out to the gold in a points verdict that went against him 2-3.

Hussam was quick to see that technique proved more effective among the formidable boxers from the former East Bloc. “A good physique is a bonus for some such as with my role model Vasyl Lomachenko, WBO super featherweight champion since 2016,” the bantamweight boxer told Sportstar from Patiala.

Hussam’s attending a camp in preparation for the Asian championships scheduled for the end of April, with the venue still to be decided. “Thanks to the army, I have got so many opportunities and to learn so much,” concluded the Naib Subedar with gratitude.