Laid low by several injury breakdowns, former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Indian boxer Akhil Kumar is all set to return to the ring with the All India Police Games starting on Monday in Ranchi, Jharkhand. The 32-year-old, whose last major international event was the 2011 World Championships, is eyeing the Asian and Commonwealth Games coming up next year.
"I have been working extremely hard to get back into shape and I will be participating in the All India Police Championship in Ranchi. It is a good tournament to go out and get a feel of things once again for me," Akhil said. "I have been frustrated with injuries over the past couple of years, but now, I feel with the right exposure and in time, I will be back at the top of my game very soon," he added. Akhil, a former World Cup bronze-medallist, said he is also looking forward to participating in the World Series of Boxing and AIBA Professional Boxing if the opportunity comes along.
"It has been hard. Sitting out and not being able to do what I love the most. I feel the way forward for boxing will be decided by WSB and APB and I would love to be a part of the action there as well. In a few months, and with my eyes fixed firmly on the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games next year, I am confident that I will be back at peak fitness," he said.
Akhil, who is a Deputy Superintendent of Police in Haryana, has also thanked the authorities and all people involved in helping his rehabilitation over the course of his injury. "I want to thank of course Haryana Police for their relentless support at all times. Also, I want to thank the Sports Authority of India for all their support throughout as well as the NIS, Patiala faculty for their help at all times," he said.
"And the contribution of chief National coach GS Sandhu, Jaidev Bisht, weightlifting coach Amrik Singh and badminton coach Bhupinder has been monumental in keeping up the positive vibe around me at all the tough times. In fact Jaidev Bisht, who is a Dronacharya awardee, will be accompanying me to the tournament, and I couldn't thank him enough for all his help," he added