Indian boxing’s 75kg middleweight category star Ashish Kumar believes he will successfully book his berth at the 2020 Olympics in the ongoing boxing Olympic qualifiers in Amman, Jordan.
The 24-year-old pugilist advanced into the second round of the qualification event on Tuesday after getting the better of Chinese Taipei’s Chia-Wei Kan with a unanimous 5-0 decision.
Ultimate dream for any sportsman
Having won silver medals at the 2019 Asian Boxing Championships and India Open, Ashish Kumar was simmering with confidence before he broke the ceiling to clinch the gold medal at the Thailand Open.
Hence, his win against the national champion and South Asian Games gold-medallist Ankit Khatana at the national trials in December was expected by many.
Ashish Kumar attributes his recent success to his strong desire to be at the 2020 Olympics.
“It's [becoming an Olympian] everything for me. It's the ultimate dream for any sportsman, and I share this same dream,” Ashish Kumar said in an interview with the Olympic Channel during the boxing Olympic qualifiers.
“I am confident I will achieve this dream one hundred per cent.”
Getting the confidence back
Ashish Kumar’s uber-offensive boxing style comes across as eye-catching to many. The towering pugilist closes his opponents with his guards down, relying majorly on his big wings that keeps others at bay.
However, such confidence didn’t come easy.
Ashish Kumar had to lose many matches on split decisions and even had to be a victim of wrong tactical advice that delayed his arrival on the international scene.
“As a boxer, I've faced a fair bit of challenges. In fact, it took me a while to settle upon boxing as my chosen combat sport to pursue,” he said.
“I used to be unsure about whether to play attack, defence or long-range, or whether I should take advantage of my height, or my strength, or my stamina.
“But now, I feel my game is at a good level, and I know when to play attack, defence or long-range. It's all going well and now I want to achieve a 2020 Olympics medal,” he added.
While the men’s 75kg weight category has some enticing names in the fray, Ashish Kumar is waiting eagerly for duels against Philippines' Eumir Marcial, who is the top seed in the event, and Kazakhstan's Abilkhan Amankul.
When and where to watch the boxing Olympic qualifiers
You can follow all the action from the Asia/Oceania Boxing Qualification live exclusively on the Olympic Channel as well as our Facebook page. The morning session will get underway at 2:30 PM IST while the evening session is scheduled to begin at 8:30 IST.