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Kaur Singh- The only Indian Boxer who faced Muhammad Ali lives his life in the shadows


Muhammad Ali was the greatest boxer to have ever walked the ring. While Ali will be forever remembered, Kaur Singh, the only Indian boxer to have ever faced Ali in the ring, has remained completely unknown to India and the World.

It was in 1980 when Ali had a stopover in Delhi. Upon learning about the same, Rajiv Gandhi, not an active politician at the time, convinced Ali to showcase his legendary talent in front of the people of Delhi. The stage was set and Ali had put on his gloves and so had Kaur Singh.
Fifty thousand people turned up to see the legendary boxer and not the fight. Kaur, at that time, was also no amateur. He was the then national heavyweight champion and couldn’t believe his luck that he was to share the ring with his idol Ali.  Kaur had a rather tough experience in the ring, but for him, it was a memory that will go to his grave with him. It might have been this Ali inspiration that led to his Gold medal, two years later, in 1982, at the Asian Games.
Twenty-six years later, in 2016, Ali died as an unforgettable legend while Kaur Singh woke up every morning to plow his fields. He was a ghost to the ‘netizens’ till a little while ago. Kaur Singh earned the Arjuna Award in 1982, the Padmashri in 1983 and the Vishisht Sewa Medal (VSM) in 1988 from the Indian Army.  
Today, he is a farmer in his native village of Khanal Khurd in Sangrur.  He gave up on boxing as a career after participating in the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984 and never let his children pursue boxing professionally, thanks to our ignorant system. Not only did India lose a boxer, but also the next generations of boxers.
Kaur is yet to receive Rs 1 lakh promised to him about 35 years ago by the then Punjab government after he clutched the gold at the Asiad Games. Several newspapers have already published the story yet the veteran is still waiting for his dues.
All thanks to the heroes of our societies like the RCF Colony Boys Krida and Sanskrutik Mandal, a Sports Organization which extended its support to Kaur Singh with Rs. 1 Lakh in December 2016, reacting to certain media reports.
In the event organized by this organisation, Kaur Singh addressed the public and said, “The Government needs to stand by sportspersons during their hard times or we will lose the right talents in sports,”. He is seen busy out in the sun working on his farm and dealing with government officials on a crop survey in his village in Sangrur.
After retiring from the Indian Army, Kaur took to farming for a living. He even suffered from a heart condition and a stent had to be installed in his heart. The state government never came forward to help the forgotten star athlete.
Finally, it was The Indian Army that came to his rescue and paid for his treatment. Not only did he won six gold medals in international competitions but was also awarded a Sena Medal for bravery in the India-Pakistan war in Barmer sector in Rajasthan.What more can a country ask from such a magnificent personality?
It’s sad to see how our greats like Kaur are buried in history because the babus in the Sports Department are too busy depriving the sportsmen of their rightful resources while the politicians are too busy taking credit for their achievements while never actually caring about the conditions they live in throughout their careers and during the retirement life.


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