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Exclusive: Lovlina trains with male boxers in her quest for Olympic glory Filed on May 25, 2021
Lovlina Borgohain of India (in blue) celebrates after her win against Kaye Frances Scott of Australia during their 69kg category quarterfinal fight at the 2018 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships. (AFP file)

This Indian boxer is preparing to fight for the Asian Boxing Championships (May 24-June 1) gold medal in Dubai

Lovlina Borgohain has mastered the art of fighting adversaries. During her days as a teenager in Assam, India, Lovlina’s parents backed her to the hilt in her fight against social taboos to become a female boxer.

Then last year, Lovlina knocked out the deadly Covid-19 infection with her perseverance before taking a barrage of punches from male boxers at a training camp in Pune.

Now this Indian boxer is preparing to fight for the Asian Boxing Championships (May 24-June 1) gold medal in Dubai before she earns a shot at Olympic glory.

One of India’s brightest medal prospects at the Tokyo Games (July 23-August 8), Lovlina says Dubai offers her the ideal stage to prepare for her Olympic debut.

“It is a crucial tournament for me as I have been training extremely hard over the last few months and now, I want to get some match practice. In-ring experience is the only way to gauge my preparations. The timing of the event could not have been better,” Lovlina told Khaleej Times.

“I want to test myself (in Dubai) and come back home with the medal and if it is gold, it will be the best thing.”

Lovlina, the two-time World Boxing Championship bronze medallist, then revealed why she trained with male boxers at a training camp before reaching these shores.

“It is imperative in boxing to spar with good boxers to improve yourself. Training with male boxers was a good challenge as they are physically and technically faster and their punches are stronger,” said Lovlina.

“I had briefly trained with male boxes after the first lockdown and I saw the positive impacts and now I want to continue the same way in my sparring to further improve certain aspects of my game. Moreover, sparring against tall male boxers is also an additional experience that will help me for my bouts.”

Lovlina, the world number four in the 69kg category who will open her Dubai campaign in the semifinal stage, is hoping to make India proud at the Tokyo Games.

“It has been a long wait for me and my family. Olympic is a dream that every athlete wishes to be part of and I am no different. It has been my father's and my mother’s dream and I hope I can fulfill it,” she said.

“While the lockdown and the pandemic have been hard on us especially with my mother being unwell and operated on. I am grateful that she is fine now, and I can train and prepare along with my coaches and support staff. I aim to make the country proud.”

The former martial arts star from Assam who won a gold medal at the junior national boxing championships at the very first attempt, Lovlina said she had evolved as an athlete since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“It has been a very tough year for everyone, and it has also helped me grow as a person a lot,’ she said.

“More than anything else, this experience has reinstated the value of patience and perseverance and how important mental strength is especially during such testing times.”


Rituraj Borkakoty

A big fan of the Argentina national football team, Rituraj generally writes on sports. But he deeply cherishes the time he spent with his favourite musician from Assam, India, for an interview. And he loves to bring human interest stories to Khaleej Times readers.

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