Kaur Singh, an Indian boxer who won gold at the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi, died on Thursday in Kurukshetra, Haryana. Singh (74) had a number of medical conditions for which he was being treated in a hospital.
Kaur Singh came from a low-income family and began his career as a farmer in Punjab’s Malwa region. According to Olympics.com, he joined the Indian Army in 1971 and discovered boxing in 1977. He became India’s heavyweight national champion two years later and remained the country’s top boxing champion until 1983.
During his peak years, he was also dominant at the continental level. He won a gold medal at the 1980 Asian Championships in Mumbai and a gold medal at the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi. These are his two most notable international accomplishments.
He also held the rare distinction of being the only Indian boxer to have faced the legendary Muhammad Ali. Both competed in a four-round exhibition match at Delhi’s National Stadium in 1980, which Ali won.
On their official Twitter handle, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), the country’s governing body of the sport, paid tribute to Kaur.
BFI took to their official Twitter account and paid condolences. The post reads “Boxing Federation of India deeply mourns the demise of Boxing Legend & Padma Shri, Kaur Singh Ji. Our heartfelt condolences and prayers to his family & friends.”
— Boxing Federation (@BFI_official) April 27, 2023