India is often not the best place for a young athlete struggling to find their space in the world of Combat Sports and professional boxing. With most athletes coming from less than the most fortunate backgrounds, India has their collection of boxers who have to work their way up from the very bottom when it comes to their fightingncareer as well as their personal lives. Financial stability is something that only the most fortunate possess in the country.
With professional boxing not really accepted as a viable career option for most in the country, those who do choose to go down that line find themselves without infinite options. The pressures of having to deal with family duties alongside their professional careers can be a strain on even the best and brightest who choose boxing as their profession.
What India needed, in this situation, is someone to lead the country and educate the youngsters and their families about what professional boxing is and the opportunities that lie with them in such a situation.
Enter Mujtaba Kamal into the professional boxing arena
Mujtaba Kamal was making amazing strides in his International Amateur Boxing career and it was felt that he would be the exception to the rule and would go far. Unfortunately, despite his excellence in the ring, at a very early phase of his career, he suffered a horrifying injury and was forced to retire from professional boxing.
Talking about the incident with me, Mujtaba Kamal said,
"The real fight had begun to test the fighter in me."
But this did not mean that life was over for Mujtaba Kamal. He decided that it was the beginning of a new chapter. Talking about his previous experiences, Mujtaba Kamal mentioned that in 2005, he was representing India abroad in quite a few countries while boxing. He managed to stand up for his country and represent them well, but it was never something that was recognized.
Looking at Cricket, Mujtaba Kamal saw that the sport was something that almost every Indian participated in and played in their own backyards with 'gully cricket'. This led to him making a decision to make boxing popular as well, through the use of 'Fitness Boxing' which could be used to motivate fitness enthusiasts into taking part in the sport.
While it was devastating to see the drain in potential following his injury, the passion Mujtaba Kamal had for professional boxing was not going anywhere as well. He decided to continue and worked through the processes that are always difficult in India. Mujtaba Kamal became his own manager and trained himself before and during the fights. While fitness boxing was something that he would dive into, it was not the only thing that he did.
Naturally, having the skills that he did, Mujtaba Kamal felt that it was selfish to keep it to himself when so many others were going through such issues in their lives. In India, most families are not as familiar with the world of professional boxing as they are with the world of cricket, tennis, or even football. Mujtaba decided that he was going to0 create a platform to help puck up boxers and educate families in India about what it took to become a professional boxer and find those amateur boxers who have the potential to become champions but had no one to guide them to that effect.
Kamal spent a lot of time in Hong Kong before he moved to India to promote professional boxing and fitness boxing. His philosophy is simple in that he believes that Indian Boxers hold the potential to be titleholders in the world.
Without knowing it, Mujtaba Kamal brought about a small revolution in the untapped professional boxing industry as it existed in India at the time.
To say that Mujtaba Kamal has been successful in his plans, would be an understatement. He has built a team of the 11 best boxers and invested in getting them involved in a training program that would allow them to challenge for the World Championship while representing India. The list of the 11 boxers that he has built his plans around can be seen below:
- Shohaib Haque (Top ranking 3*)
- Luxmi Kardam (Top ranking 2*)
- Ramandeep Kaur (Top ranking)
- Asad Asif Khan (Rank 1* & IBO Oceania Title Champion)
- Digari Mahesh(Top ranking)
- Karthik Sathish Kumar (Top ranking & Undisputed)
- Gurpreet Singh (Top ranking & Undisputed)
- Akashdeep Singh (Top ranking & Undisputed)
- Karan Singh (Top ranking & Undisputed)
- Sanjay Thapa (Top ranking & Undisputed)Lalrinsanga Tlau (Top ranking & Undisputed)