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Scout Akhil back on the prowl

Bantam weight pugilist Jitender Kumar worships his ‘guru’ Akhil Kumar for the role the latter has played in shaping his career...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
August 27, 2009 12:24:42 am

Bantam weight pugilist Jitender Kumar worships his ‘guru’ Akhil Kumar for the role the latter has played in shaping his career. Akhil has,on many occasions in the past,helped Jitender with kit and money and,so,the younger boxer says he would never want to face his mentor in the ring.

Talking about the possibility of Akhil moving back to the bantam weight category once the feather weight category is phased out,the 22-year-old says he would not want to see that day.

“I know there is a lot of talk about the chances of feather weight getting dropped from major championships. But Akhil is my guru and he has shaped my career. I can’t think of facing him in a boxing ring. If a situation arises that both of us are in the same weight division,then I’ll choose to fight in national events and leave the international arena for him,” Jitender says.

Akhil,meanwhile,has made further progress in his habit of keeping a lookout for new and promising faces in his sport.

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Now the Bhiwani boxer has thrown his weight behind two young boxers,Mandeep Jhangra and Sanjay Singh. Just in their teens,the two are currently training under Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) pay and play scheme in Patiala.

“Mandeep and Sanjay look like prospects who will bring us many medals when they’re ready. In fact,I feel that in two years time,they’ll be among the top rung and will give tough fights to many of the established boxers,” Akhil says of the thirteen-year-olds.

“I am not the only one who is helping them out. Our chief coach,GS Sandhu,and our association is also involved,” he adds.

Sandhu agrees about the potential of the duo. “Akhil helps other boxers out a lot. He has often paid from his own pocket to bear Jitender’s expenses,given him money when he’s needed it. He does this often and we are all proud of him,” Sandhu says.

“They (Mandeep and Sanjay) have the potential and with time and proper training will become better. Having said that,we are not directly involved. They are benefiting from the SAI’s pay and play scheme,” he says.

Akhil swears by the talent of the duo. “Believe me,they are the ones for the future,” he signs off.

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