After A Four-Month Injury Layoff, Dheeraj Gets Back To Training In Bid To Make It Big In The World Championship

Bengaluru: The path from injury is always a difficult climb and 22-year-old pugilist Dheeraj Rangi echoed the same, just that he exuberated confidence over making an impactful return to the ring and hopefully making headlines in the AIBA World Championship to be held in Hamburg, Germany in August.

Rangi has been out since September after undergoing a surgery for a niggling wrist injury, and is solely concentrating on his strength. “I just started sparring and I’m mainly focussing on strength training. Speed has always been my strong point, but now I’m focusing more on strength as I will be changing my weight category to 64kg,” Rangi said, adding that fitness-wise he is presently at his best.

Just weeks after being declared medically fit, the Haryana-based boxer showed absolutely no fear to make his return to the ring. “Even after this injury I can still easily stand to be the 2nd or the 3rd best fighter in my category in India. But I want my results in the ring to do the talking, because only winning medals will showcase the amount of hard work and dedication I put in to getting back,”

Donovan Pillai, Head of Sports Science at JSW Sports, said that Dheeraj has been steady with his progress and has met all milestones for a comeback. “We are happy with the speed of his recovery. He’s at a point where he needs more sparring sessions and we are slowly increasing his workload from non-contact and will further improve it to full-contact.” said Donovan.

Talking about the facilities and guidance at his disposal, Rangi spoke about the JSW Sports staff introducing him to world-class fitness techniques. “Like Wayne Lombard (Head of Strength and Conditioning at JSW Sports) has charted a specific and strict routine, where we daily focus on an individual muscle group. This is usually not the norm when it comes to fitness training in India, where the practises are very outdated,” he said.

He further added that the team formulates plans specific to his requirements. “Right now I want to focus on my punching power and they’ve made a routine where I only work on it for two to three weeks. Then we move on to working on other aspects like improving my speed or flexibility. All of this is done in a systematic and disciplined manner, with nothing left for chance during training,”

Head Boxing Coach at JSW Sports, Ronald Simms said that Dheeraj has shown a lot heart post recovery and the right-handed orthodox boxer still has a lot to improve for a return to the square platform. “He is a true-blood fighter and has stamina, speed and conditioning in his arsenal. But that’s not enough and we are working to mould him into a boxer-puncher, where he gauges his opponent’s movement to make more impact during counters,” said Simms, a five-time USA Boxing All-American.

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