Asian Games gold medalist and a boxing legend in his own right Dingko Singh lost battle to liver cancer and diet at 42 on Thursday, June 10. After winning countless bouts in the ring, Dingko was made to fight liver cancer since 2017. The Arjuna Award winner had also recovered from COVID-19 in 2020. After his death, condolences have been pouring in from the boxing fraternity.
Ngangom Dingko Singh or famously known as Dingko Singh died today after living through prolonged illness at his home in Manipur’s Imphal district. According to the family sources, the 42-year-old had survived and fought COVID-19 in 2020 and was on a treatment cycle as he suffered from liver cancer as well. The late boxing legend is survived by a wife and 2 children.
Back in 2016 Singh was first reported to have diagnosed with liver cancer. He was 37 years old then. In 2017, after being diagnosed with the cancer, he was admitted to the Institute of Liver and Bilary Sciences, Delhi and underwent a 14-hour-long surgery. During the surgery much of his liver was removed. Since then, Dingko was regularly taking radiation therapy.
In 2020, after coming back to his hometown from Delhi after receiving cancer radiation therapy, he contracted the COVID-19 virus and tested positive for it. The boxer knocked out the virus too and recovered from it the same year.
Dingko Singh’s Boxing Career
At a young age of just 10 years, Dingko won the 1989 Sub Junior National Boxing Championship. His talent was nurtured by Major O.P. Bhatia who later went on to become the Executive Director in the Sports Authority of India’s Teams Wing. After winning the Sub Junior National Boxing Championship he was seen as the next promising talent in the world of boxing by trainers.
Starting Early, Winning Big
He entered into the world of international boxing in 1997 and took part in the King’s Cup which he eventually went on to win. Further, he also represented the country at the 2000 Summer Olympics and the 1998 Asian Games.
Although he was first dropped from the Indian boxing team for the 1998 Asian Games, he was later included in the team. The event proved to be a monumental milestone in his journey as the boxer as he went on to create history by winning Gold Medal.
Winning the Arjuna Award & Padma Shri Award
In commemoration for his excellence in the boxing field, and his contribution to the sport, he was awarded the coveted Arjuna Award in 1998. Moreover, he was also awarded the fourth-highest civilian award – The Padma Shri – in 2013.
Inspiring a generation of boxers
Dingko was responsible for inspiring an entire generation of boxers thanks to his craft and off-the-ring attitude. He fueled the passion of boxing in another Manipuri who later went on to become the 6-time world champion. MC Mary Kom gave a statement to PTI where she said, “He was a rockstar, a legend, a rage. I remember I used to queue up to watch him fight in Manipur. He inspired me. He was my hero. It is a huge loss. He has gone too soon.”
Prior to his cancer diagnose, Dingko also enlisted in the Indian Navy and served as a coach at the Sports Authority of India Centre at Imphal.
Tributes for Dingko Singh on his untimely demise
New-age boxing legend Vijender Singh took to Twitter and wrote, “My sincerest condolences on this loss May his life’s journey & struggle forever remain a source inspiration for the upcoming generations. I pray that the bereaved family finds the strength to overcome this period of grief & mourning Folded hands #dinkosingh”
My sincerest condolences on this loss May his life's journey & struggle forever remain a source inspiration for the upcoming generations. I pray that the bereaved family finds the strength to overcome this period of grief & mourning 🙏🏽 #dinkosingh
— Vijender Singh (@boxervijender) June 10, 2021
Six-time boxing world champion MC Mary Kom also condoled the death of her inspiration and wrote, “You were a true hero of our nation. You leave but your legacy will live among us. RIP”
— Mary Kom OLY (@MangteC) June 10, 2021
Arunachal Pradesh Member of Parliament, Kiren Rijiju also shared his sadness and wrote, “I’m deeply saddened by the demise of Shri Dingko Singh. One of the finest boxers India has ever produced, Dinko’s gold medal at 1998 Bangkok Asian Games sparked the Boxing chain reaction in India. I extend my sincere condolences to the bereaved family. RIP Dinko
I’m deeply saddened by the demise of Shri Dingko Singh. One of the finest boxers India has ever produced, Dinko's gold medal at 1998 Bangkok Asian Games sparked the Boxing chain reaction in India. I extend my sincere condolences to the bereaved family. RIP Dinko🙏 pic.twitter.com/MCcuMbZOHM
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) June 10, 2021
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed his condolences and wrote, “Shri Dingko Singh was a sporting superstar, an outstanding boxer who earned several laurels and also contributed to furthering the popularity of boxing. Saddened by his passing away. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.”
Shri Dingko Singh was a sporting superstar, an outstanding boxer who earned several laurels and also contributed to furthering the popularity of boxing. Saddened by his passing away. Condolences to his family and admirers. Om Shanti.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) June 10, 2021