Here are the profiles and form guides of the Indian boxers in action at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Let’s get you up to speed!
Men: Indian Boxers At Tokyo Olympics
Amit Panghal (52 kg)
Amit Panghal is the first Indian male boxer to claim a World championships silver medal.
Form guide: 2021: Silver at Asian championships, Dubai; Bronze at Governor’s Cup, Russia; 2020: Gold at Cologne World Cup, Germany; Bronze at Asia-Oceania Olympic qualifier, Jordan.
The 25-year-old southpaw from Myna, Rohtak, is one of the most talented boxers India has ever produced. Coming from a family of farmers, Amit was motivated by his brother Ajay, who works in the Indian Army, to take up boxing in 2007.
After overcoming a doping episode, Amit came into the limelight by securing a bronze medal in the Asian championships in 2017. He also reached the quarterfinals of the World Championships in Hamburg, Germany. Amit won a gold medal at the Grand Prix Usti Nad Labem in Czechoslovakia to establish himself as the rising star.
In 2018, Amit tasted more success as he claimed gold medals in the India Open international tournament and Strandja Memorial event in Bulgaria. He bagged a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games and a gold in the Asian Games to establish himself as a world class boxer in the light flyweight.
He switched to the flyweight keeping an eye on the Olympics. Apart from winning gold medals in the Strandja Cup and Asian championships in 2019, Amit elevated his status by becoming the first Indian male boxer to claim a World championships silver medal.
With his fine boxing skills, Amit is seen as a strong medal prospect in the Tokyo Olympics.
Main Rivals: Double Worlds medalist Mohamed Flissi (Alg), former World champion Yosvany Veitia (Cub), Olympic light flyweight silver medalist Yuberjen Martínez (Col), Olympic bronze medallist Hu Jianguan (Chn), Olympic and World champion Shakhobdin Zoirov (Uzb), Worlds bronze medallist Saken Bibossinov (Kaz), Worlds bronze medallist Billel Bennama (Fra), Commonwealth Games champion Galal Yafai (Gbr), Olympic silver medallist Yoel Finol (Ven).
Manish Kaushik (63 kg) : Indian Boxers At Tokyo Olympics
Manish Kaushik won a silver medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and followed it up with a bronze medal in the light welterweight in the 2019 World championships.
Form guide: 2021: Gold at Boxam International Tournament, Spain; 2019: Bronze at World championships, Russia; 2018: Silver at Commonwealth Games, Australia.
Manish Kaushik, 25, is a talented boxer from India’s nursery of boxing, Bhiwani. Inspired by homegrown heroes, including the iconic Vijender Singh, Manish took up boxing and made good progress. The son of a farmer, Manish attracted attention when he upset World championships medallist and defending champion Shiva Thapa in the lightweight division final at the National championships in Visakhapatnam in 2017.
Manish went on to prove that his victory over Shiva was no fluke and beat him again in the Indian Open international tournament the following year.
The southpaw carried on his sublime form to win a silver medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and proved his class at the highest level, securing a bronze medal in the light welterweight in the 2019 World championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia.
After earning an Olympic quota place in March 2020, Manish had to go through a surgery to rectify his aching shoulder. Later, a bout of Covid-19 also posed a roadblock. However, the Army man fought back to get into top form ahead of the Olympics.
Main Rivals: Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jonas Jonas (Nam), two-time World champion Andy Cruz (Cub), Worlds bronze medallist Elnur Abduraimov (Uzb), Asian champion Baatarsükhiin Chinzorig (Mgl), former Worlds bantamweight bronze medallist Dzmitry Asanau, former World bantamweight champion Javid Chalabiyev (Aze), former World champion and Olympic medallist in lightweight Sofiane Oumiha (Fra), Worlds silver medallist Keyshawn Davis (USA) and double Worlds medallist Hovhannes Bachkov (Arm).
Vikas Krishan (69 kg) : Indian Boxers At Tokyo Olympics
Vikas Krishan twice shifted to professional boxing but returned to the amateur fold to continue in his pursuit to win an elusive Olympic medal.
Form guide: 2021: Silver at Boxam International Tournament, Spain; Bronze at Asian championships, Dubai; 2018: Gold in middleweight at Commonwealth Games, Bronze at Asian Games.
Vikas, another southpaw from Haryana, is a well known face in Indian boxing. Born in the Singhwa Khas village in Hisar district of Haryana, in early part of 1992, Vikas was exposed to boxing as his father Krishan Kumar Yadav, employed in the Electricity Department, was posted in boxing hub Bhiwani. As a 10-year-old, Vikas got his first lessons in boxing at the Bhiwani Boxing Club and soon emerged as a fine boxer, taking the gold medal in the World youth championships in 2010.
He won an Asian Games gold medal in 2010 and a World championships bronze – he was the second Indian male boxer to do so after Vijender – in 2011 to firmly establish himself as a top boxer. Vikas collected several medals in the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games, the Asian championships and competed in two Olympics, in 2012 and 2016.
The Arjuna award winner twice shifted to professional boxing but returned to the amateur fold to continue in his pursuit to win an elusive Olympic medal. Vikas will be keen on proving himself in a world class field and achieve his dream in his third Olympics.
Main Rivals: Former World and Olympic champion Roniel Iglesias (Cub), former Worlds bronze medallist Gabriel Maestre (Ven), Asian Games champion Bob-Usmon Baturov (Uzb), double Worlds bronze medallist Ablaikhan Zhussupov (Kaz), Worlds silver medallist and CWG champion Pat McCormack (Gbr), Olympic silver medallist Lorenzo Sotomayor (Aze), and World champion in welterweight and Olympic medallist Andrey Zamkovoy (Rus).
Ashish Kumar (75 kg) : Indian Boxers At Tokyo Olympics
Ashish Kumar won a silver medal at the 2019 Asian championships.
Form guide: 2021: Silver at Boxam International Tournament, Spain; 2020: Bronze at Asia Oceania Olympic qualifier, Jordan; 2019: Gold at Thailand Open, Bangkok.
Hailing from Sundarnagar in Mandi district of Himachal Pradesh, Ashish Kumar comes from a family of sportspersons. The youngster got his first lessons in boxing at the Sundarnagar Boxing Club at the age of 14. He started doing well at the junior level and got a gold medal at a junior state competition in 2008-09 and made it to the quarterfinals in the National junior championships.
After claiming a bronze at the School Nationals and participating in the National youth championships in 2012, Ashish jumped to the big league and made his Elite National debut in 75kg category.
His first gold medal in 75kg came in the National Games in 2015. In 2018, he secured the bronze at the National championships and got a bronze from the Asian Games test event. He made it to the quarters of the India Open the same year and participated in the President’s Cup.
The 2019 Asian championships was a turning point for Ashish as he won the silver medal and went on to win his first International gold medal in the Thailand Open.
The 27-year-old strapping boxer has overcome injury issues to be ready for his first Olympics.
Main Rivals: Worlds bronze medallist Hebert Conceicao (Bra), Worlds silver medallist Eumir Marcial (Phi), Asian Games silver medallist Abilkhan Amankul (Kaz), World champion Gleb Bakshi (Rus), former World champion Oleksandr Khyzhniak (Ukr), and former Worlds bronze medallist Troy Isley (USA).
Satish Kumar (+91 kg) : Indian Boxers At Tokyo Olympics
Satish Kumar is the first Indian boxer to claim an Olympic spot in the super heavyweight category.
Form guide: 2021: Silver at Boxam International Tournament, Spain; 2020: Silver at Cologne World Cup, Germany; Bronze at Asia Oceania Olympic Qualifier, Jordan.
Thirty-two-year-old Satish Kumar is a late bloomer in boxing. Hailing from a farmer’s family in Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh, Satish joined the Army in 2008 and began boxing a year later. He made his debut in the National championships in 2011 and won a silver medal to gather a lot of self-belief.
Satish made his mark by winning a bronze medal in the super heavyweight in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and followed it up with another bronze medal in the Asian championships in Bangkok the following year.
A silver medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games and another silver in the Asian championships in the following year raised Satish’s profile.
The Arjuna awardee, who is the first Indian boxer to claim an Olympic spot in the super heavyweight category, has won a battle against Covid-19 to be ready for the Olympics challenge.
Against the usual show of power in +91kg, Satish will rely on his speed and endurance to make the Tokyo Games a memorable affair for him.
Main Rivals: World champion Bakhodir Jalolov (Uzb), Worlds bronze medallist Justis Huni (Aus), double Worlds silver medallist Kamshybek Kunkabayev (Kaz), Commonwealth Games champion Frazer Clarke (Gbr), African Games champion Yousry Hafez (Egy), and European Games silver medallist Mourad Aliev (Fra).
Women: Indian Boxers At Tokyo Olympics
M.C. Mary Kom (51 kg)
Mary Kom will be looking to win the elusive gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
World Ranking: 7
Form guide: 2021: Silver medal at the Asian championships, UAE; Bronze at the Boxam International Tournament, Spain; 2020: Bronze at the Asia Oceania Olympic qualifier, Jordan.
A mother of three, 38-year-old Mary Kom is an international sporting icon who has delivered results at the top level for more than two decades. The six-time World champion and 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist is perhaps the most decorated boxer to compete in the Tokyo Olympics.
READ: Mary Kom on her London Olympics bronze medal and Tokyo: Second appearance, second shot
From being a school dropout to attaining stardom, Mary, inspired by the legendary Muhammad Ali, fought opposition from parents and neighbours to take up boxing. The southpaw has won five gold and two silver medals in the Asian Championships and is an eight-time Worlds medallist. She is the only Indian woman boxer to win gold medals at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games.
Mary, a Member of Parliament from the Rajya Sabha, is the first amateur Indian athlete to get the Padma Bhushan. For her inspirational journey, Mary, who was born at Kangathei, Manipur, was inducted into the AIBA Hall of Fame for her all-time contribution.
Mary will be looking to win the elusive gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Main Rivals: Olympics bronze medallist Ingrit Valencia (Col), Worlds bronze medallist Virginia Fuchs (USA), World champion Huang Hsiao-wen (Tpe), Worlds silver medallist Buse Naz Cakiroglu (Tur), and double Worlds silver medallist Stoyka Krasteva (Bul).
Simranjit Kaur (60 kg)
Simranjit Kaur got the Best Boxer award at the 2019 Nationals and continued her fine performance to secure her maiden Asian championships medal, a silver, later in the year.
World Ranking: 4
Form guide: 2021: Silver medal at Boxam International Tournament, Spain; Bronze at Asian championships, UAE; 2020: Silver at Cologne World Cup, Germany.
Simranjit was familiar with boxing from her early days as her elder brother and sister pursued the sport. After being persuaded by her mother, Simranjit took up boxing reluctantly but started liking it. Hailing from Chakar village in Ludhiana, Punjab, the orthodox boxer made a steady rise. Simranjit, who bagged a World Youth bronze medal in 60kg in 2013, tasted success in domestic tournaments. She was adjudged the Best Boxer in the 2016 National Championship in Haridwar.
Losing her father in 2018 was a setback for Simranjit, but the resilient boxer fought back to win gold in the 64kg category at the 32nd Ahmed Comart Boxing Tournament in Turkey and a bronze medal in her maiden World Championship in New Delhi the same year.
She got the Best Boxer award at the 2019 Nationals and continued her fine performance to secure her maiden Asian championships medal, a silver, later in the year.
The 25-year-old, who has beaten a bout of Covid-19, is rated among the best for the Tokyo Olympics.
Main Rivals: World champion Beatriz Ferreira (Bra), Worlds bronze medallist Rashida Ellis (USA), two-time Worlds medallist Sudaporn Seesondee (Tha), Youth Olympics champion Caroline Dubois (Gbr), former World champion Kellie Harrington (Ire), and World and Olympic bronze medallist Mira Potkonen (Fin).
Lovlina Borgohain (69 kg)
Lovlina Borgohain earned a bronze medal on debut in the World Championship in Delhi in 2018 and added another bronze in the next edition in Russia a year later.
World Ranking: 5
Form guide: 2021: Bronze at Asian championships, UAE; 2020: Bronze at Asia Oceania Olympic qualifier, Jordan; 2019: Bronze at World championships, Russia.
Following in the footsteps of her twin sisters Licha and Lima, Lovlina first took up kickboxing. She switched to amateur boxing after meeting her first coach Padum Boro, who worked at Sports Authority of India’s Shillong and Dimapur centers.
Boro spotted Lovlina at the trials held by SAI in 2012. Her game developed with time and she went on to represent the country in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games after claiming a gold in the India Open and bronze medals in the Asian championships in Vietnam and President’s Cup in Kazakhstan.
The same year Lovlina earned a bronze medal on debut in the World Championship in Delhi and added another bronze in the next edition in Russia a year later.
The Arjuna award winner may be the most famous face among the 600-odd people of Bara Mukhia village in Golaghat district of Assam, but she is not satisfied with her achievements. Despite losing out on valuable international exposure last year due to Covid-19, 23-year-old Lovlina is determined to give her best in Tokyo.
Main rivals: Former World champion Chen Nien-chin (Tpe), current World champion Busenaz Surmeneli (Tur), Worlds silver medallist Angela Carini (Ita), twice Worlds bronze medallist Nadine Apetz (Ger), and double Worlds medallist Saadat Dalgatova (Rus).
Pooja Rani (75 kg)
Pooja Rani Bohra has won multiple National titles, an Asian Games medal, a South Asian Games gold medal and two Asian crowns.
World ranking: 8
Form guide: 2021: Gold at Asian championships, UAE; Silver at Boxam International Tournament, Spain; 2020: Bronze at Cologne World Cup, Germany.
Ironically, despite being from the hub of boxing, Bhiwani girl Pooja Rani did not have any interest in the sport until her college lecturer Mukesh Rani persuaded her to don the gloves. Mukesh introduced 18-year-old Pooja to her husband Sanjay Sheoran, a boxing coach and the son of legendary boxer Hawa Singh. Sanjay convinced Pooja’s father, who was a policeman, to let his daughter box.
Pooja hid her bruises and cuts from her father to pursue boxing to win a gold medal at the Haryana state youth championships, followed by a silver at the Nationals youth championships in 2009, within months.
Pooja’s improvement removed her roadblocks and fetched her more glory. She progressed to win multiple National titles, an Asian Games medal, a South Asian Games gold medal and two Asian crowns.
Even though she had achieved most of her success in 75kg, Pooja had switched to get her first Asian title in 81kg in 2019. However, she returned to 75kg after being guided by foreign coach Raffaele Bergamasco to begin her pursuit of Olympics glory. She was encouraged after getting another Asian title in the middleweight division in 2021.
In Tokyo, the 30-year-old southpaw is expected to pose a strong challenge to her rivals.
Main rivals: Worlds bronze medallists Khadija El Mardi (Mor) and Tammara Thibeault (Can), former World champion Atheyna Bylon (Pan), former World champion and Olympic medallist Li Qian (Chn), World champion Lauren Price (Gbr), and World and Olympic silver medallist Nouchka Fontijn (Ned).