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38-year boxing reunion

Local Sports

Former Fiji boxer Jagat Singh meets trainer Ali after 38 yearsFormer Fiji boxer Jagat Singh meets trainer Ali after 38 yearsTHE sport of boxing is not for faint of hearts, it never has. It is physical and for the very reason it’s not the sport of choice.

But if one has the mindset to train hard and has a trainer who knows the sport than one can rise the ranks into becoming a great boxer.

Jagat Singh, who now resides in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada had it all.

At the age of 18, he was a gem of an upcoming boxer, he attributes Inayat Ali, his trainer and mentor for identifying him as a prospect for the Nasau Youth Boxing Club in 1979.

Singh impressed Ali, who with other budding young boxers (18-21) old’s, appeared in their first Sunday program in 1980, in Nadi.

It was also the start of many matchups for the local club boxers.

“I made four appearances in a (3x6) round fights”, said the 56-year-old.

“Three wins against Ashad Ali, Lalit Singh and Raj Kumar and a draw against Mikele Tui”.

Singh said he was only rising the youth ranks and had envisaged a professional career when he immigrated to Canada 1981.

Unbeknown to a new country and starting a new life with parents, he had to give up on boxing.

Singh said when he heard about his trainer and mentor was in Vancouver for a vacation, he just couldn’t take a pass on the reunion.

“I just couldn’t have taken a pass on the opportunity to meet my trainer, who guided me at a very young age”, said Singh.

The two met after 38 years.

Ali said he didn’t recognize Singh as it had been almost 4 decades.

“It’s been long”, Ali said.

“Had he (Singh) not migrated he would’ve made a name in the sport. He would’ve been a champion fighter”.

Ali said not much emphasis is being given to young boxers in the country, added the people behind the sport need to rejuvenate the interest for the sport to thrive in the country.

Singh and Ali relished on good times and shared life stories about Fiji and Canada for days.

Ali returned to Fiji on Monday.

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