Remembering a Legend - Ding'KO' Singh
“Boxing is the only sport you can get your brain shook, your money took and your name in the undertaker book” – Joe Frazier .
It would take a brave man to step into a ring where heroes and cowards feel the same fear in the potential death chamber.
The sheer mental strength and physical prowess to attack and defend like your life depended on it brings out a story befitting legends. Enter Dingko Singh – a boxer who conquered Asia in the 54 kg Bantamweight category at the 1998 games. He was a last minute inclusion thanks to our very efficient sports federations who never shy away from a stir of controversy.
An incensed man, he thankfully took it to the boxing ring to vent out his aggression as he steamrolled past opponents and into the semis. His biggest challenge yet beckoned against home favorite and World No. 3, Wong Prates Sontaya. A sea saw battled ensued with the judge’s ruling 18-14 in favor of our man amidst sheer confusion.
The big finals and an outright underdog against World No. 5 Timur Tulyakov from Uzbekistan, he held the hopes of a million people in those unforgiving fists. A flurry of punches set him on glory road with a lead of 12 points by the end of the fourth round before Timur retired suffering a slight injury after being well and truly out boxed.
Dingko Singh was deservedly bestowed with the prestigious Arjuna Award in the year 1998 to commemorate his achievements. A rags to riches tale for a boy, who learnt life the hard way after being brought up in an orphanage. He may have disappointed with a first round exit at the 2000 Sydney Olympics but the ripples of his victory inspired a generation most notably World Champion M C MaryKom. Make our nation proud oh worthy successors of DingKo Singh!