Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): On the stage, her steps move gently as she dances to the tune of Bollywood numbers. But she stings like a bee in the boxing ring. Her every punch demolishes her opponent in the wink of an eye. Meet 18-year-old Devika Ghorpade, India’s boxing sensation.
She is not just a powerful boxer but her social media is as impactful as her punches. She has a sizable fan base on Instagram, thanks to her reels.
Devika is in Bhopal to take part in 6th Youth Women's National Boxing Championship in 2023. Free Press interacted with her to learn about her life. Excerpts
How has your life changed after becoming Youth World Champion?
Before world championships, I failed Asian trials and it cost me an entire year. I was very sad about it but later I won gold medal in the Youth World Championship. I felt it was my destiny to become World Champion. I worked very hard for this tournament. Everything that went wrong during Asian Trails, I righted it in the World Championships.
What made you choose boxing?
I was a professional dancer. I even gave several auditions for shows, but something was amiss. I wanted to channel my energy where I could make a name for myself and my country. I was watching Rio Olympics. I was fascinated with boxing and wrestling. Then I joined boxing and began training under Olympian boxer Manoj Pingale.
What’s next on your medal list?
I want to win gold medal in Olympics. And I am punching my way up to Olympics.
How do you want your life to be?
I want to work hard on myself and groom myself. I want to be impactful and influential. I want to inspire people to do better. I want to be just like Indian team coach Amanpreet Ma’am.