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World Boxing Qualifiers: Who Is Nishant Dev, IND's First Male Boxer To Qualify For Paris 2024?

Dev, who had narrowly missed an Olympic berth in the previous qualifiers, earned the quota after defeating Vasile Cebotari of Moldova on unanimous decision in the battle of southpaws

Nishant Dev celebrates his victory. Photo: X/India_AllSports

India's Nishant Dev (71kg) became the first Indian male boxer to secure a Paris Games quota when he reached the semifinals of the Boxing Olympic qualifiers on Friday. (More Sports News)

The world championships bronze medalist, who had narrowly missed on an Olympic berth in the previous qualifiers, earned the quota after defeating Vasile Cebotari of Moldova 5-0 in the quarterfinal which was a battle of the southpaws.

Dev's heroics earned India's its fourth quota place with women boxers Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preet Pawar (54kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) having already secured their passage to Paris.

Here's all you need to know about the 23-year-old boxer -

Dev's major highlight came in 2021 during the Elite World Boxing Championships where he made his debut. His debut was a memorable as he made it to the quarter-finals of the tournament.

He hails from Haryana's Karnal district and was inspired from his uncle who was a pro-boxer himself. His boxing career started in 2012 as he trained at the Karan stadium under coach Surender Chauhan.

Straight out of a 'Dangal' movie scene, Nishant's father would wake him up at 4 AM in the morning and would take him to training and follow the same routine in the evening so that his son is coached well.

The 23-year-old represented Karnataka at the Senior National Championships in Baddi in 2019 but lost in the quarter-finals. However, his performance left a lasting impression on the Indian boxing high-performance director, Santiago Nieva, who later called him up for the Indian camp to learn and train with the best.

At the 2021 National Championships, Dev won a gold medal and that earned him the right to represent India at the World Championships. It was the first-ever International tournament for the young puglist.

At the tournament, he would defeat Hungary's nine-time National Champion, Laszlo Kozak in the first round and then knocking out two-time Olympian, Merven Clair of Mauritius in the second round.

In the third round, Dev went on to beat Mexico's Marco Alvarez Verde before exiting the tourney in the quarter-final stage.

His shoulder injury from 2010 came back to haunt him in 2022 as the rod that was inserted inside, got infected. Thus, Dev went a massive shoulder injury in March that year and post that, had a rehabilitation period wherein he worked on his core strength, power and conditioning.

Despite lack of training, he won a gold at the National Boxing Championships in Hisar in 2023.

This was not the first time Nishant had come close to qualifying for the Paris event. At the World Boxing Qualifiers Busto Arsizio in Italy, the 23-year-old lost to USA's Omari Jones in the quarter-final 1-4.

(With PTI input)