Ram Singh: Vijender Singh's sparring partner who faded away from ring
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After winning a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics, one of the associates Vijender Singh thanked profusely for standing by him was Ram Singh, a super-heavyweight category boxer who was not just his one-time roommate at the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala but also his best friend and a sparring partner.
Helping Vijender win that groundbreaking medal, however, was as close as what Ram Singh, 30, who hails from Usmanpur village in Patiala, ever got to achieving big in boxing.
Ram Singh's first medal was a silver at the junior nationals in 2002. Never a precocious talent, he accumulated a few medals along the way though, including a bronze medal in the Czech Republic Grand Prix in 2007, gold in the A K Misra Boxing Championship in 2009 and another bronze in an international meet in Kazakhstan in 2009.
The rise of Paramjit Samota, who won the super-heavyweight gold in the Commonwealth Games and a silver in Asiad 2010, put Ram Singh in the shade.
The soft-spoken Ram Singh, who is a Punjab police havildar, continued to be a part of national camps, often, according to sources, due to Vijender's influence.
His last competitive appearance was the 60th All India Policemen Boxing Championship in Delhi last year where he finished third.
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