Had five-time World Amateur Boxing Champion Mary Kom been present at Chennai’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium earlier this month, I bet a strong proponent of the sport such as herself would have shed tears of joy—and by the buckets.
The turnout at the Tamil Nadu State Sub Junior Boxing Championships was so immense that the small room that housed the ring resembled the Chennai Central to a T; incidentally, located just a stone’s throw away.
There, the usual noise that follows children wherever they gather was not to be. During the bouts, a certain silence ruled the atmosphere—only to be suspended by the heckles of a worked up coach and occasional bursts of cheers.
Some still accompanied by their moms, the budding combatants put on their game face, and looked their menacing best in their shimmering boxing gear. Albeit little, these feisty pugilists left no stone unturned in making their presence felt inside the twenty square foot modern-era Coliseum. But at the end of the day, there could be only one winner.
When the final bell is rung, heartbreak was written on the faces of many a child who had failed in their bid for glory. This, while a resolve to bounce back even stronger rumbles deep inside.