Third-generation Sikh boxer wins silver at Malaysia Cup


Sachdev Singh in his final bout at Malaysia Cup Boxing Tournament – Photo: Courtesy of Cakap Sukan

By Asia Samachar | Malaysia |

Boxing runs in the family of Sachdev Singh who bagged a silver medal at the Malaysia Cup Boxing Tournament last week.

In the 1930s, his grandfather entered the boxing arena to represent the police team. Now, his grandson carrying the torch.

The 32-year-old geologist did Sabah proud when he took home the medal in the cruiserweight (86kg) category in the competition held in Negeri Sembilan. Due to his work commitments in Selangor, he had to train on his own.

“My dream is to join the national team,” he told Asia Samachar in a telephone conversation.

In 2015, Sachdev won a bronze in the same national competition, an impressive feat considering he had only taken up competitive boxing towards the end of 2014 after leaving university. He studied Bachelor of Applied Geology from 2009-2014 at Curtin University, Sarawak Branch.

Up until his university days, Sachdev was pretty much pre-occupied with basketball.

“I did boxing training since I was 17. My dad taught me some basics. From there, I picked up more and tried to improve myself, under his continued guidance. I just didn’t apply it in the ring until later on,” he said.

And, boy, did he threw some punches when he entered the ring. He won a gold medal in a district level competition in 2015 before winning bronze in the 2015 Malaysia Cup. He also won silver in the state level Mayor Cup three times: 2016, 2017 and 2019.

His dad Darshan Singh, who was involved in local level boxing in the late 1960s, is the present secretary general of Sabah Boxing Association. He is also a qualified state and national judge and coach. In his heyday, he was a state champion in the mosquito and flyweight weight categories.

Darshan’s younger brothers followed suit. Tara Singh became Sabah state champion for the bantam weight category and fought in national level competitions in 1970s.

In 1980s, their brother Dara Singh became state level bantam weight champion and went on to take part in national competitions. He had also fought friendly matches in Indonesia. Their youngest brother, Pardan Singh, fought at the district level.

“My father and his brothers picked up boxing from my Dada Ji,” Sachdev said. Dada is paternal grandather in Punjabi.

Retired Sergeant Major Dial Singh Sandhu was a police boxer in the in the 1930s. He is said to have taken part in a professional bout in Singapore and won 50 dollars.

Asked what were the stories he had heard about his grandfather, Sachdev said: “He was tall. So he used his range a lot. He was more of an outside fighter, where you use your reach and not weight. He had good techniques as he had a good coach – a police drill instructors. He had passed it on to his children,” he said.

On his next move, Sachdev said he would take part in one of the up-coming major boxing competitions. He has to pick and choose as he has limited number of leave days from work.

“I have to improve on my defence and punching output, and stamina. I have to be more prepared taking on opponents who are lefties,” he said.

Three generations: Sachdev (middle, right) with his uncle Dara Singh and dad Darshan Singh (extreme right). Left: His grandather Sergeant Major Dial Singh Sandhu

Sachdev Singh (middle) with his dad Darshan Singh and younger brother Gurdev Singh – Photo: Supplied


Lanky Ravinder takes boxing gold at Malaysian games (Asia Samachar, 23 Sept 2018)

ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Southeast Asia and beyond.Facebook | WhatsApp +6017-335-1399 | Email: | Twitter | Instagram | Obituary announcements, click here