Asian Games gold medallist Indian boxer Kaur Singh, who once fought the legendary Muhammad Ali in an exhibition bout, died on Thursday at a hospital in Kurukshetra, Haryana. He was 74 and was undergoing treatment for multiple health problems. The former Army man had been living at his native village Khanal Khurd in Punjab’s Sangrur district.
Notably, the boxer fought a four-round exhibition match with Ali in January 1980. He won the heavyweight boxing gold medal at the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. In recognition of his achievements, Kaur Singh was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 1982 and Padma Shri in 1983.
Boxing Federation of India deeply mourns the demise of Boxing Legend & Padma Shri, Kaur Singh Ji . Our heartfelt condolences and prayers to his family & friends.__#omshanti pic.twitter.com/IsWDXuhsc1— Boxing Federation (@BFI_official) April 27, 2023
“Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Thursday expressed profound grief and sorrow over the sad demise of former Olympian and veteran boxer Kaur Singh who breathed his last in a private hospital at Kurukshetra this morning. He is survived by two sons and a daughter,” said an official statement here.
Mann said Kaur Singh made India proud by earning name and fame in the national as well as international arena. The boxer also represented the country in the Olympic Games. He said the life and contributions of Kaur Singh would ever inspire the aspiring boxers.
Earlier this month the Punjab government announced plans to publish life stories of four legendary athletes in the school curriculum. Kaur Singh is one of them, along with hockey icon Balbir Singh Senior, legendary athlete Milkha Singh and Olympian Gurbachan Singh Randhawa. Punjab education minister Harjot Singh Bains had earlier this month said that their life stories have been included in the physical eduction textbooks of classes 9 and 10.