In the boxing fraternity, Balbir Singh is known for two things -- for his lethal punches and bad temperament. The former wins him matches; the latter loses him his place in the National team.
When he first burst into the scene as a young World Cadet Champion, the first ever for India in 2002, his quick movement and measured punches drew plaudits from experts. But somewhere down the line, dogged by injury and a loose temperament, he only managed sporadically spectacular results.
On Tuesday, Delhi's Balbir used his aggression to his advantage when he upset Asian champion Suranjoy Singh 5-3 in the 57th Senior Men's National Boxing Championship held at the Talkatora Indoor stadium.
The first round between the two went pointless. It was in the second round that Suranjay unleashed his arsenal- getting three punches on target to Balbir's one.
In the last round Balbir showed that on his day he can beat the best in business. "I always knew that I can beat him. Now all I have to do is control my aggression and use it to my advantage," said Balbir. He also said he was looking forward to the upcoming bouts, "I beat one of the favourites today and hope to continue this performance. My over-aggressive approach has been the cause of problems for me in the past and that is why I have decided to control my emotions."
Secretary General of Indian Boxing Federation (IBF) Col PK Muralidharan Raja too hailed Balbir for his effort saying, "He always had the talent but somewhere the consistency is missing, if he continues to fight the way he did against Suranjay, I see no reason why he can't win his place back in the core group."
The other surprise of the day was Akhil Kumar pulling out due to injury, giving his opponent Vikas of Haryana a walk over in the light (60 kg) weight category.
Karan Chib, the doctor who has been treating Kumar for his knee injury, said that the boxer complained of swelling in his right knee on Monday evening, which had not subsided.
RESULTS: 62kg: Ramdas (CHT) bt K Santosh (AP) 8-1, Santosh (GOA) bt Sanjay (MP) 0-9; 60 kg: Diwakar (RSPB) bt Akshay Kumar (DEL) 12-2, Vikas Malik (IBF-A) bt Raj Kumar (KAR) 8-0; 64 kg: V Santosh Kumar (SSCB) bt Anthont 12-0, Lakhbir Singh (PUN) bt Ravi Kumar (JHA) 5-1; 75kg: Kulwant Singh (SSCB) bt Knock out Avinash (J&K), Kuldeep Singh (RSPB) bt Yogesh (MAH) 14-2; 81 kg: Parvinder (PUN) bt Gursahib (MAN) 11-0, Jasveer (RSPB) bt Amit Singh (CHT) 0-10.