Youth World Boxing Championships: S. Vishvanath has achieved ‘only about 50 percent’ of his potential, says father

S. Vishvanath, who won the 48kg gold medal at the IBA World Youth Championships, eats, breathes, and lives boxing, says his father Suresh. It is because of Suresh’s wholehearted efforts that Vishvanath is making rapid strides in boxing.

S. Vishvanath won the gold medal in 48kg at the Youth World Boxing Championships in La Nucia, Spain.

S. Vishvanath won the gold medal in 48kg at the Youth World Boxing Championships in La Nucia, Spain. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

S. Vishvanath, who won the 48kg gold medal at the IBA World Youth Championships, eats, breathes, and lives boxing, says his father Suresh. It is because of Suresh’s wholehearted efforts that Vishvanath is making rapid strides in boxing.

It’s hardly 12 hours since S. Vishvanath returned from Spain to Pune, obviously he has jetlag.

The 18-year-old feels sleepy but still spoke to Sportstar about winning the 48kg gold medal in the IBA World Youth Boxing Championships in La Nucia recently. “It feels great as the event happens once every two years. I still have a long way to go. My ultimate goal is to win a medal at the Olympics though my (48kg) category is not in the 2024 Paris Olympics,” he said.

Son of tailor Suresh Babu, Vishwanath has seen the tough life. Suresh, a State and National-level boxer, couldn’t continue his boxing as he as the eldest sibling (three sisters and a brother), had to take care of his family. “I wanted to pursue boxing at a higher level. Mine was a big family. My responsibilities were huge. I stopped after winning the gold in the sub-junior level,” he said.

Father’s efforts

Suresh put all his efforts to ensure that his son reached the elite level of boxing. Finding it difficult to arrange the finances for coaching, Suresh decided to coach his son.

While Vishvanath did his fitness at the Corporation Ground in Perambur near his home, the techniques of the sport were taught by Suresh at their home. Then, when in Std. VII, Vishvanath tried to get into MEG Centre in Bengaluru, but couldn’t get through the selection trials. “He didn’t have the required height,” said Suresh.

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It was a relief when he was picked by the Army Sports Institute (ASI) in Pune in 2018. He is a Havildar now.

Vishvanath has not let down his father. He has been consistent in international events, having won medals at the Asian and World level in Jordan, Serbia, and Dubai in the last year or so. “I am here because of my father. If not for his support I would not have become a boxer,” said Vishvanath.

‘Nothing easy’

The 18-year-old said no bout at the World Youth Championships was easy with all five bouts being extremely tough. “Each boxer was different and difficult. Nothing was easy and every bout was a tough fight,” he said.

Suresh said Vishvanath eats, breathes, and lives boxing. “Whenever we speak, it is always about boxing, top boxers in the world, their techniques. We don’t discuss films or other forms of entertainment. His basics are good thanks to ASI coaches including Vijaykumar Sharma and Kamesh and other coaches, who are dedicated. He has achieved only around 50 percent [of his potential]. I am sure he will win much more,” said Suresh.

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