Bhopal: Ishan Katariya, the strapping good looking boy from Haryana, who won the last bout of the five-day boxing event of the Khelo India Youth Games 2022 here, certainly believes in pulling no punches.
After the referee declared a RSC (referee stops contest) in the third round, when his state mate Nitesh Malik, failed to provide any resistance in front of a vocal crowd at the DSYW Hall of Tatia Tope Stadium complex, a candid Ishan said later, that he took to boxing in the first place as he wanted to channelise the anger in his body. ‘’See, I am a Jat and I had anger in my body. I often ended up fighting with my friends and wanted to channelize the anger through my sport,’’ said the 17-year-old winner of the 75-80 kg class contest.
Interestingly though, boxing was not his first choice as Ishan was hooked to skating and was a national champion in the sport. “I was first a silver medallist in the Youth Nationals and then went on to be a national champion. However, both me and my family felt that skating had no future in India and then decided to switch over to boxing as it would give me an opportunity to represent the country if I am good enough,’’ Ishan, a Gurugram resident, told the Khelo India Media.
Vijay Singh Katariya, his father who is an employee at the All-India Airports Authority, took him to the Elite Boxing Academy about two years back and Ishan soon caught the eyes of the local coach with his aggressive style. “I started at the district level and lost the first time before going onto win it the next year. Then in the Youth Nationals last year in Chennai, I finished with a silver and this possibly fetched me a place in the state team at my first Khelo India Youth Games – which I consider as a big break,’’ said the Class XI student of Humanities.
Asked how he planned his campaign in the event where he had to qualify for the final round with wins in two previous rounds, Ishan said: “My coach Rajesh Khattar wanted me to be chilled and just resort to my natural style. However, I did not expect the final to be easy.’’
A huge admirer of Muhammad Ali, ‘The Greatest,’ Ishan dreams of participating in the Olympics in the near future. ‘’I want to win an Olympics medal and make my country proud,’’ he added.
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