Boxer Akhil Kumar’s schedules for the last month have been hit for a six. He’s been rehearsing for Jhalak Dikkhla Jaa 4 till the wee hours, wakes up late but still completes his dailyboxing practice before getting down to more salsa, jive and hip hop.
Akhil is one of the 12 contestants on the dance reality show that flagged off on Sony last night. “I’ve danced a lot inside the boxing ring but that was different, I obviously can’t repeat those same moves on this stage,” he reasons.
of my favourite actors," asserts the boxing champ. "I’m sure he can out punch Viju (Vijender Singh) and me in the ring. He has sturdy fists that still pack a punch.
I’m glad he introduced me because I’m also a Jat yamla pagla deewana."Reportedly, Vijender Singh was offered the show before he took it on. "I haven’t spoken to Viju about this, so I don’t know if he was. But I’m sure he will be happy to see me dance," Akhil insists. And what about his coaches? "I’d spoken to the coaches, trainers and all government officials before I agreed to go on the show. Only after I was sure that we had no tournaments scheduled for the next few months and my boxing wouldn’t get sidelined, did I agree to do Jhalak Dikkhla Jaa," he points out.
Quiz him about the woman with the million-dollar smile, Madhuri Dixit, who makes a comeback on TV with the dance show and he smiles, "Woh bahut achchi hai (she’s really nice). It’s great that she, along with Malaika (Arora Khan) and Remo are judging the show. But even if it had been Michael Jackson or Prabhu Deva, I’d still have put my best foot forward and when my time was up, leave the stage with a smile. I’m a sportsman, I focus on every game — in this case every act — and give it my 100 per cent. That’s what’s important. My choreographer is a patient lady who reminds me of my early coaches who taught me my boxing moves. Over the last few weeks, we’ve become friends. She’s teaching me to dance and I’m helping her with brushing up on her Hindi."
So, will he take these moves into the boxing ring now? "I’d love to," he smiles. "If you watch me in any tournament after this show, you’ll find me doing a little bit of jive, salsa and hip hop inside the ring."