Super Boxing League 2018: Deepak Tanwar's journey from the ring to Bollywood and back to pro-boxing again

Deepak Tanwar, the Captain of Maratha Yodhas in 2017
Deepak Tanwar, the Captain of Maratha Yoddhas in 2017

Deepak Tanwar was one of the standout performers at the 2017 Super Boxing League. He won four out of five fights in what was the inaugural edition of the event.

An array of Bollywood stars such as Sushant Singh Rajput, Ritesh Deshmukh, Suniel Shetty, and Rana Daggubati were also associated with the league as co-owners of different teams and were pivotal in its promotion last time around. All the eight teams of the league have garnered a massive fan following and it is bound to get bigger and better as we approach the second season, touted to start in September 2018.

In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda, Deepak Tanwar - a 24-year-old boxer who led the Maratha Yoddhas to the crown last time around, reveals what he has been up to since then and how his preparations are going for the upcoming season.

Boxing roots

Belonging to the modest district of Bhiwani in Haryana, where there are boxers in every other house, and one finds that at least two out of ten children start boxing when they reach their teens, Deepak was bound to be attracted to the sport. He used to watch his cousin box, who was also his source of inspiration.

"I had an urge to go along with him and start practising myself. Two years from 2002-03, I was just pleading my parents to allow me to go but they did not budge as I was a single child and they were scared that I may get hurt. However, in 2004, my cousin won a bronze medal in an international competition. The grand manner in which he was welcomed changed the opinion of my parents and they were convinced with my decision of taking up the sport," says an excited Deepak.

Deepak Tanwar cheers a fellow teammate during Super Boxing League 2017
Deepak Tanwar cheers a fellow teammate during Super Boxing League 2017

Deepak soon became obsessed with the sport and any sort of hindrance, even from his family would have proved to be inconsequential back then as he was hell-bent on starting off as a boxer. A young boy at the time, he saved little by little from his humble pocket money and got a boxing kit for himself.

"Imagining myself in India’s jersey and going to places around the world in an aeroplane just like my cousin, was one of my biggest motivators," he shares.

"Slowly as my parents started seeing my development, they felt that I have it in me and starting trusting my decision," added Deepak, who is also popularly known as the Bhiwani Bomber.

The golden period

Deepak won many laurels in his junior boxing career - a gold medal at the 2008 Junior National Championship, and another few at the Youth National Games in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

However, the turning point in his career came when he was asked to captain the Maratha Yoddhas for the inaugural season of the Super Boxing League. This got him the fame he had been longing for since time immemorial.

"Last season I was unable to interact with the team owner, Ritesh Deshmukh. However, he used to keep the energy flowing within us by regularly sending in motivational videos," shares the 24-year-old pugilist.

His stint in Bollywood:

Deepak in action during one of his bouts
Deepak in action during one of his bouts

Another big moment came in Deepak's life when he was called to be a part of ‘Mukkebaaz’ movie as an actor.

"Mukkebaaz was a completely different experience for me. I had never even seen shooting take place, nor faced the camera so closely. It was an amazing experience and all the people were really nice to me, especially the co-actors who made me feel at home. I had to play my natural self in the boxing ring. The director even explained the lead actor, Vineet Kumar Singh, and all of us to keep it as real as we can," says Deepak.

"Vineet had been training as a boxer in Patiala for one and a half years in preparation for the role and has also been a sportsperson throughout his entire life. No choreography was done for the boxing sequences and the only thing on our mind was that we have to box in such a way that it is inspiring for others. On certain occasions, when Vineet’s punches hit me, the impact was such that it left me dazed and felt as if a really good professional boxer has hit me," says the welterweight category boxer, sharing his experience of acting in the film.

Super boxing League has been scouting fresh talent through their ‘Road to the Ring’ campaign, in which youngsters from every state will be selected and brought to Delhi for training.

"It is not possible for me to leave my training to go and see the practice matches in every state. However, once the youngsters are shortlisted I will be going to Delhi to scout the most entertaining boxers are," explains Deepak, sharing his future plans for the upcoming season.

Intensive training routine

In amateur boxing the calendar is fixed so one can train according to it. However, in professional boxing, one never knows when a fight comes up so the boxer has to maintain himself/herself throughout the year to be prepared for it. People have high expectations from Deepak as he was the champion last time along with the Maratha Yoddhas. We find out if he has been living up to them or not.

Revealing his training regimen, the boxer from Bhiwani says, "I do my training according to the upcoming matches. Sometimes I take a break for a few days as well. A training of 6-7 hours is done daily followed by relaxation. I have two sessions of training, one in the morning and one in the evening. However, soon I will be having 3 sessions as the league is nearing, adding a mid-day session as well." Deepak Tanwar is an example of a true champion as he never compromises on his fitness.

Super Boxing League becomes the centre of attraction

Super Boxing League is using Social media well and has increased the awareness of the league. Last year, the league was at a nascent stage and many children were not aware of it as they are now.

"When I was in the semifinal of the last season, I started getting messages from youngsters to help them get to the next season. Getting to be on Television is in itself a big feat for these boxers so you will get to see fresh talent in abundance this time around. The excitement is already building up as people know they can earn fame and money thanks to Super Boxing League, who have provided such a big platform for them to turn Pro," says Deepak, on the growing popularity of the Super Boxing League.

The exposure a professional boxer gets is still a lot more in countries like USA, Canada, and Australia. People are crazy to see their fights and the popularity is at a next level. The professional boxers are also looked at very respectfully.

Initiatives like the Super Boxing League will change the mindset of the Indian audience and a lot more people will be involved in the sport. What's more is that the innovative format of the league provides a platform for women as well, as it is a compulsion for each team to have one female boxer out of their 6.

Quick Links

Edited by Soumo Ghosh
App download animated image Get the free App now