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After an impressive amateur run, Mathi is ready to takeover Professional Boxing

Renjith Ravindran
Calendar Icon09 August 2020

Mathiyalagan Dhiravidamani might only be one fight old in his professional career but with an impressive amateur career and some excellent skill set to show off, he is indeed someone to watch out for as far as Indian professional boxing is concerned.

The impressive amateur run

Hailing from Tamil Nadu, Mathi started learning boxing when he was 14 years old, motivated by a bully that hit him.

Mathi: When I was studying 7th standard a guy hit me so hard and I badly wanted to hit him back so I learned boxing. Then, I fell in love with the sport and it turned into my passion. The fun part is I still didn’t hit that guy back.

Although it was a struggle in the starting days, Mathi soon started piling up wins in the amateur circuit. His first major win came in 2007 when he won the Gold Medal at the State Sub-Junior Level. He got his first taste of National competition that year itself and after continuously winning Gold Medals at the state level; he got his hands on a National medal in 2011 when he won Bronze in the Youth Nationals. A year later, he turned this into Gold as he won in the University Nationals and again, dominated the state-level competitions for another year.

The path towards all these medals, however, was filled with struggles which he still clearly recalls how Social Media helped him to gain some attention.

Mathi: Initially, it was hard for me to grow up in that atmosphere. I didn’t have enough exposure before. I always had the determination to achieve in my sport. I still have the same mindset to achieve more! Thankfully social platforms have helped me to showcase my talent.

Finding support from his team and Professional Debut

The excellent run in his amateur run prepared Mathi well for a leap into the professional boxing world. He got the aid from the team of Mujtaba Kamal, Bharat and Jose Mohan, who helped him to make his professional debut on January 2020.

While the likes of Kamal, Bharat and Jose completely supported his decision to turn professional, a lot of people questioned the same citing his age. Mathi, however, had different plans.

Mathi: I had so many criticisms that I am 27 and I couldn’t perform well! I broke those barriers and won my first professional boxing match.

He won his professional debut via a unanimous decision and he thanks his team for giving him a platform and the support.

Mathi: Thankfully I met Kamal sir through Bharat and it's been a good journey for me in professional boxing and even Jose Mohan encouraged me a lot to start my professional journey.

Boxing in Tamil Nadu and Future plans

Along with succeeding in his own career, Mathi hopes to uplift the boxing circuit in Tamil Nadu and engage more people into the sport. He feels that there is a lot of hidden talent in the state and one day; hopes to inspire all of them.

Mathi: There are a lot of people who have a great interest in this combat sport. The only thing is people with talent lack exposure. My only aim is to engage everyone to be active through my sport. There are a lot of boxers in our Tamil Nadu who aren’t recognised. When people ask me to train them, I incorporate my teaching with boxing techniques. So, ultimately to be fit they’ll practice the sport.

Although the COVID-19 pandemic has put a hold to his professional career, the future looks bright for Mathi. As mentioned earlier, the extensive run that he had in the amateur scene is what has equipped him for his professional run. In the long run, he hopes to bring a title to India.

Mathi: Without playing in an amateur match no one can play professional matches. It’s like doing your degree without schooling. It gave me a lot of experience to handle the situation in the ring. I want to become a world champion in the super flyweight category


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