The ‘Cuba of India’
Bhiwani Boxing Club or BBC was founded in 2003 by a Bhiwani-based boxing coach Jagdish Singh. His tireless tutelage helped Indian boxing as well as world boxing to know about Bhiwani Boxing Club (BBC), especially when Vijender Singh, the first-ever Indian boxer and the student of Jagdish, won a bronze medal in the 2008 Bejing Olympics. Jagdish has produced a lot of students from BBC. Along with Vijender, four more boxers have been gifted by Bhiwani Boxing Club who all has been bestowed with the Arjuna award.
There is an envious statistics also where it is seen that the 12 boxers produced by Jagdish have won medals in World Championships including five gold medals, one silver medal, and six bronze medals in different age groups. More than 1000 boxers have graduated from BBC and won more than 250 international medals while more than 400 national medals so far. All these are the reasons BBC is called ‘Cuba of India’ and as a reward for his dedication to boxing, Jagdish Singh was presented with the Dronacharya award in 2007. The new sensation of this 58-year-old coach is Nitu Ghanghas who clinched the gold medal in Birmingham Commonwealth Games this year.
Jagdish Singh & Modernization of BBC
Jagdish has obtained grants only twice for his club in his overall coaching career, one from the previous state government in Haryana and a corporate house. But he has not waited for the grant anymore. The coach who retired from Sports Authority of India‘s (SAI) coaching job in February 2021 told over the phone from Bhiwani,
“I had taken a loan from the bank and upgraded Bhiwani Boxing Club. Now it is a two-storied building. I have set three boxing rings on the ground floor while a residential hostel on the first floor where the accommodation for 40 boxers has been arranged. This apart, the old-fashioned gym has been upgraded.”
According to the coach, he has taken a loan of Rs 30 lakhs to reconstruct the club.
The dearth of boxers in Haryana
Jagdish now has 110 students in his club. But the sad part of the story he mentioned was,
“Among the 40 boys who are living in the hostel, most of the boys are from outside Haryana, especially from Maharashtra, Pune, Uttar Pradesh, and even from Jammu & Kashmir. Haryana which had once supplied boxers galore is lacking boxers nowadays. Most of the young boys are trying to go abroad, especially to the Gulf countries for earning.”
Jagdish Singh: Still Optimist
Still, Jagdish does not seem to have lost hope. He explained,
“I still have 10 to 12 very promising boys and girl students including Nitu, Sakshi, and Puja. I have the belief that out of these promising students a couple of boxers will be seen shining at the international level within the next two years, especially before the qualification tournaments for the Paris Olympics in 2024.”-- Advertisement --