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Karthik Sathish opens up about his boxing career so far, title dreams and more

Renjith Ravindran
19 July 2020

For someone that started his professional boxing journey in 2019, Indian boxer Karthik Sathish has an impressive resume to showcase.

He is currently ranked fourth in the BoxRec Lightweight rankings for India and the path ahead for him only leads to the top. Here’s his story.

Starting Boxing by accident

Hailing from a family of four in Tamil Nadu, the boxing journey of Karthik started by accident when he was 13-years-old. He was on his way to play cricket one day when he came across someone who was offering free boxing classes on the playground. He immediately fell in love with boxing after trying it out.

Karthik Sathish: On an impulse, I tried out the class, and I quite enjoyed it. Despite the cuts and bleeding, I always went back for more lessons and slowly took this up over cricket.

Although he initially kept the details of his boxing training as a secret from his family, Karthik soon revealed it to his parents as his family was a close-knit bunch that was always there for each other. He now feels thankful to his family and about the support they showed him.

Karthik Sathish: Initially, my parents were quite shocked as they did not know that I was already learning, but they were nonetheless very supportive of me and stood by my decision. I was only 13 years old, but they supported me 100%. I am very thankful to them.

A quick leap saw Karthik compete and win a district level tournament, after which he was trained by a district club member for around six months. He soon got selected into the Army School in Bangalore where he was able to take his game to the next level thanks to the exposure he got to national athletes and coaches.

Karthik Sathish: The experience at army public school in Bangalore was at another level. Training with national coaches and athletes was grilling, but at the same time, it helped build my skill and confidence. It was at this time that I decided that I wanted to compete professionally and win.

The cultural differences and language barriers in the public school were something that Karthik had to overcome through effort. He was even subjected to ragging while his time there. Karthik, however, stood through all the adversities and focussed on improving his boxing skills.

Fast forward to 2019, Karthik stepped into the boxing ring for his professional boxing debut in Thailand.

Starting the Professional Boxing Journey and his support system

The professional boxing career of Karthik was catapulted by the support of few names.

His mentor and coach Mujtaba Kamal along with matchmaker Bharat have been working tirelessly to aid Karthik and fellow boxers for a long time now and with ample support from Curefit which provided financial support and job security along with flexible training timings and facilities for their boxers, Karthik made a huge mark in the boxing scene in 2019 by picking up four back-to-back wins.

The first win for Karthik came in Thailand against Phanuwat Thomkrathok via a stoppage. Although he got the win, he notes that it was a nervous start.

Karthik Sathish: I was honestly quite nervous to start my professional career at an international level, but believed in myself and my training and abilities. I gave everything I had and I earned a well-fought win. After winning, I realized that this is what I want to keep doing and improving. I did not want to stop, and I used this victory to push myself to give my best in all my next fights.

A fight later, Karthik was booked for a showdown against Mohamed Pesa at the Caesars Palace in Dubai thanks to the long-standing association between Mujtaba Kamal, Bharat and Jose Mohan, who is a promoter and manager based out of Dubai.

Karthik Sathish: The best memory is from my fight in Dubai. It was a packed event with many legends of the sport present, and mine was the first bout against a Nigerian opponent. It was a well-contested match and a good fight. At the end of the bout, former world champion Badou Jack, personally came up to congratulate me on my win and said that I’ve got a great future. That is definitely a moment I will cherish for life.

Hopes to inspire the boxing scene in Tamil Nadu and win the World Title

Currently sitting on a solid record of 5-0 to his name, Karthik is looking forward to getting back into action and hopes to inspire and encourage the boxing talent in his state at a grass-root level.

Karthik Sathish: I was the first person from Tamil Nadu to compete in the U-19 World Cup. After my run till the quarter-finals, people in the state started admiring me and started looking up to me. I have one of the best pro-boxing records in India, which has and will hopefully continue to inspire more people to take up boxing. I always make time to mentor and help out in any way possible all junior boxers. Hopefully, I will be able to encourage and bring out and nurture grass-root boxing talent from within the state and across India.

As far as the bigger picture is concerned, Karthik believes that boxing has shaped his life both inside and outside the ring, be it discipline, mental strength, fortitude or respect. In the long run, he hopes to convert all this and his hard work into successful title runs.

Karthik Sathish:  My goal is to be a world champion and to win the WBC and WBO title belts.

Also Read: How Mujtaba Kamal is forging a pack of top Indian boxers


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