Won the National title consecutively for 11 years; won the Asian Games boxing gold twice (1966, 1970); Arjuna Award in 1966; Dronacharya Award in 1999
Hawa Singh was an Indian boxer belonging to the Heavyweight category, and was very famous for dominating the Asian Boxing scene in his category for over a decade during his peek performance.
Early Life & Introduction to Boxing
He was born on the 16th of December 1937 at a small village named Umarwas situated in the state of Haryana. At the age of 19 years, he got a job in the Indian Army in the year 1956. At the Army, Hawa got a suitable environment for making a head start in the arena of Boxing, and soon began making a name for himself in the ring.
Performance in National Boxing Circuit
He made an impressive beginning when in the year 1960, Hawa Singh defeated the reigning champion Mohabbat Singh to win the Western Command Boxing Championship. After that, he ruled the National Boxing Championship title undisputedly for a long period of 11 years. He won the coveted title 11 times in a row, right from the year 1961 to 1972. No other Boxer ever has been able to equal his record in the Heavyweight Category.
Performance in International Boxing Circuit
Owing to his commendable performance and his super strong capabilities as a Heavyweight Boxer, Hawa Singh was the most obvious choice for being sent to the Jakarta Asian Games 1962, but due to some border problems with China, he couldn’t go to the sport event. Anyhow, he participated at the 1966 Asian Games held at Bangkok, Thailand and the 1970 Asian Games also held at Bangkok. Singh grabbed Gold Medals at both the Asian Games, and has been the only Indian Boxer till date to have won two Gold Medals at the Asian Games.
The Lost Victory at Tehran Asian Games 1974
At the 1974 Asian Games held at Tehran, Hawa Singh knocked out his Iranian opponent, Bura in the Final Round and was the winner for the third time, but a controversial decision by the referee deprived him of the Gold Medal that he really deserved.
Establishment of the Bhiwani Boxing Club
Apart from being a wonderful Heavyweight Boxer from India, Hawa Singh contributed to further development of the game even after retiring from active Boxing. He founded the now well known Bhiwani Boxing Club at Bhiwani, a town in Haryana. The club caught the eye of the nation in the year 2008 when its 4 Boxers participated in the Beijing Olympic Games 2008, and 2 of them viz. Jitender Kumar and Akhil Kumar made it to the Quarter Final Round, while Vijender Kumar made the nation proud by striking a Bronze Medal in the Olympics.
The Amazing Boxing Coach and Mentor
After his retirement from active Boxing, Hawa Singh also served as a Boxing Coach and did an excellent job by grooming some of India’s finest Boxers in the past. In fact, for his commendable efforts as a Boxing Coach he was honored with the Dronacharya Award by the Government of India, but ironically he passed away just 15 days before he was supposed to receive this award from the President of India. His wife, Angoori Devi received the coveted award on his behalf.
Awards & Honors
To commemorate his outstanding performance as a Boxer who made the nation proud several times, and his consistent efforts towards enhancement of Boxing as a sport in India, Hawa Singh was bestowed upon the prestigious Arjuna Award in the year 1966. Further he was honored with the Best Sportsman Trophy from the Chief of the Army Staff in the year 1968. In the year 2000, the Government of India also awarded him with the coveted Dronacharya Award for his extra-ordinary services as a Boxing Coach and Mentor.