New Delhi, Dec 20 (PTI) The outspoken Akhil Kumar today called himself the kind of mentor who loves a bit of "dictatorship" while training promising boxers and emphasised on "will power and desire" to make it big in the ring.
Indian boxing's national observer will again take to the ring as a pro-boxer in a tournament hosted by Hope and Glory Boxing in association with WBC and Boxing Premier League in New Delhi on February 10.
"I like to be a dictator, a bit of dictatorship is needed I feel (while mentoring), but in a positive way. Two things that I look for are will power and desire. If you have them you will be focussed. I want them to be obedient," the Commonwealth Games gold medallist and Olympic quarter-finalist told PTI.
The 36-year-old pugilist is known for expressing his thoughts in an uninhibited manner and he did not hold himself back when he said he is often wrongly called an aggressive boxer.
"I am not an aggressive boxer, the kind of image you all have created. I am a very technical boxer. You look at my footwork, my open guard, my mobility and my ringcraft. I should not be called an aggressive boxer," he urged.
Akhil was optimistic when asked about the future of the sport.
"They are doing pretty well, and if they are doing there job we must praise them. The federation is trying to ensure boxing is headed in the right direction. At this stage, we can certainly look ahead with hope," the pugilist, who runs the Akhil Kumar Boxing Club, said.
Akhil was candid as he said he does have an eye for talent.
"Look at Shashi Chopra, the youth World Championship medallist. She won in Guwahati and I was there (she was recommended by Akhil)."
He then pointed towards Olympian Jitender Kumar, one of Akhil's most famous proteges, saying "an example is sitting right here".
The Beijing Olympic quarter-finalist made a perfect start to his professional career with a technical knock-out of Australia's Ty Gilchrist in the junior welterweight category at the 'Battleground Asia' earlier this year, but fell out with the promoters for a breach in contract clause.
About this new venture, he said, "The primary focus should be on boxing and not boxers. Being a boxer, I am aware of the challenges that young athletes encounter to pursue their dreams. Talented players are deprived of basic amenities required to nurture their career beyond their amateur days.
"Hope and Glory Boxing is an excellent attempt to overcome these barriers and prepare them for international pro boxing championships under the mentorship of senior boxers.
Besides brand ambassador Akhil, the event at Talkatora Stadium will see Jitender Kumar, Brijesh Kumar Meena (WBC Asian Boxing Champion) and contestants from Philippines, Georgia, Tanzania and France in action.
There will be six bouts - four for men and two for women.
Speaking on the occasion, Vikas Malik, Founder and Managing Director, Hope and Glory Boxing, said, "We want to present quality sporting events so that players can develop their technique and compete with international pro boxers.
"Keeping this in mind, we would be actively bringing international boxers to India and host boxing events internationally. Making Pro Boxing a viable career option for Indian amateur boxers who quit after years of training and fighting without reward, is our foremost objective.Published 20 Dec 2017, 16:44 IST