What India’s Women Boxers Mean For the Rest of Us


Dec 5, 2017


Courtesy Hindustan Times

Congratulations are in order for five fabulous Indian women boxers — Nitu, Jyoti Gulia, Sakshi Choudhury, Shashi Chopra and Ankushita Boro – who have all won gold medals in boxing at the recent World Youth Boxing Championship in Guwahati.

Till now, Indian women’s boxing was most associated with the gritty Mary Kom, brought to life in the eponymous Bollywood film. Like Kom, these young women come from humble backgrounds in far-flung villages, making it to this pinnacle thanks mostly to their talent, determination, and training.

Boxing has changed their lives, even if they had to start doing it surreptitiously, without their parents knowing, in some cases. Which got us thinking – could boxing change the lives of all Indian women, if we took it up? Could boxing be the answer to all our woes?

Given the sheer number of people we want to hit on a daily basis alone, I say: yes! The art of boxing, or hitting something repeatedly while wearing the proper hand coverings, might emancipate us from many daily worries and tribulations. Let’s examine how.

Boxing could help us get a leg up at work.

After an afternoon of mansplaining and being passed over, make sure that your (male) colleagues see you hit that bag in the office gym. And voila! They will be impressed with your dedication to fitness, aggression, strength, aggression, nimbleness, aggression and muscle tone. After all, a fit body houses a fit mind, no? Hence, boxing helps you get ahead at the office.

Boxing can change our daily commute.

There’s no more need for separate compartments for ladies and gents. It’s boxers and non-boxers now. Imagine how much life would change if creeps had to worry about getting home safe. (I’m looking at you, Delhi.)

Boxing makes us happier and healthier. 

Not only does the sheer cardio of it help you burn calories, it also releases endorphins – your body’s own way of drugging itself to happiness. Also, boxing has only one requirement: fists. If you have fists, preferably attached to a body, then you can box. Forget fruit-shaped bodies; you’ll have a fist-shaped body.

Boxing might improve our social lives.

No more demands on you to adhere to tiresome curfews or wait to be dropped home. You’re a boxer. You can handle anything that life throws at your biceps. You can stay out late, party, meet interesting people and flex your muscles. Also, given how much you have to jump around, floating like a butterfly, boxing helps improve your dancing skills, too.

Boxing can up our fashion game.

Like the Victorians, you’ll adopt wearing gloves all the time. And no matter what you wear, when everyone sees your Everlast gloves, they’re going to be all complimentary. And we can all wear red lipstick, all the time – it matches our gloves! Imagine a world where little girls (and big girls) were always told they looked great. Where a woman’s worth isn’t defined by how she looks but by the gloves she punches with.

And finally (and most seriously), boxing can bring us together.

Rafaelle Bergamasco, recently appointed Italian coach to the Indian boxing team, has impacted the team tremendously with his unique training methods. He says, “Indian girls have very strong punches. And even though they come from villages, their technique is good. But they were mentally not prepared. They would see their own videos. I told them not to see (them) and (instead) spend time training together.”

Straight from the expert’s mouth: Indian women don’t need to pull their punches, and they’re stronger when they stick together.




Written By Akhila Vijaykumar

Akhila Vijaykumar is a writer with experience across advertising and journalism. Occasionally, the crossover does make her demand truth from soap and try to cajole quotes into starbursts, but no harm no foul. She loves books by Terry Pratchett, dogs and pizza, often at the same time.


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