The stadium was full of cheers and claps witnessing the Indian boxers sweating and fighting hard at the Thailand Boxing championship in Bangkok. The 7-member strong contingent that made to the championship stumbled when five of them lost in the opening round leaving the dais for two strong contenders — Shyam Kumar (49 kg) and Rohit Tokas (64 kg).

While boxing biggies like Shiva Thapa, Vikas Krishan along with three others bowed out in the initial rounds, the Delhi lad newbie had something in mind to etch into the boxing history’s medal tally.

Rohit Tokas who successfully bagged a Bronze medal at the Championship has undoubtedly carved his way in the counting of new heroes of the sport. While Shyam Kumar (49 kg) earned the shining Gold medal with shutterbugs clicking away to record his fame, Tokas the Munirka boy, with a journey of a decade into boxing, remained the silent star celebrating the success with the support of his family, coaches and the blow of confetti.

“I am working hard on Rohit and his recent Bronze has proved that he is a strong medal prospect. While long reach, good combination and tall height adds to his plus points2, his confidence draws him back that I aim to draw out of his SWOT analysis for the next tournament”, adds coach S.R. Singh.

Rohit recapitulates to NewsX his weakness that lead him to settle for a Bronze:

1) How was your experience at the Thailand Championship?

Thailand Championship was not an easy journey though it was a very good experience fighting with international boxers. We all gave our hundred percent and performed at the best level.

2) You bagged a Bronze in Thailand championship, where did you miss out?

I did my best but I think it’s the mental training that plays the most crucial part. My confidence was not on full swing so I stumbled and lost the track. That’s a learning for me.

3) The boxing fraternity has undergone major changes. How would this help?

The boxing system seems better now. Earlier we didn’t get much exposure but with the recent reforms things have been changing at a faster pace.

4) You’ve been into boxing for nearly a decade, how has this journey been till now?

I struggled a lot at the initial stage to enter into the Youth games. I practiced hard and hard and finally made it at the second attempt. I kept pushing myself that bagged me the first Gold medal in 2010.

5) How and when did you come into boxing?

I started training at the age of 13. I used to watch combat sports on television that inspired me to join boxing.

6) Where did you train first?

I started my training with Munirka Boxing Academy under the coach, Rajesh Tokas.

7) Who is your motivation in boxing?

Vijender Singh is my idol. He used to train in the same arena and in fact he used to share his feedback on our training methods post the sessions. That helped us a lot in bettering our techniques.

8) What’s your training schedule?

I practice for four to five hours daily — one session in the morning and next in the evening. Along with other moves and smaller practice sessions meanwhile that adds to the complete training schedule.

9) When did you start learning under coach S.R. Singh?

I joined senior coach S.R. Singh in January this year. Interestingly he is the coach of my first coach so it’s a great pleasure for me to train under him.

10) What are you going to focus on next?

My focus is now on the 2018 Commonwealth Games. I’m preparing hard for it hoping for a berth in Olympics 2020.