He came. He conqueredThe Post sat down with Manish Dangol (aka Daku) to know more about him outside the ring.
In the circle of combat sports in Nepal, he’s known by his moniker ‘Daku’. Manish Dangol (aka Daku) recently won a boxing match under the 65 kg category in Gymkhana Fight Night. The Post sat down with him to know more about him outside the ring.
It’s a nickname. My friends and I decided to pick names from the popular movie Sholay. I chose Daku. It’s been years now and I’ve actually come to like it.
And why boxing?
I wouldn’t say it was planned. When I was in High School, I was more interested in music; in fact, I was a part of a band. But that didn’t work out, as you can see. I had classes in the morning which left me with a lot of free time. I joined boxing to use the extra time I had. I started enjoying it.
I wanted to go abroad like every other kid but things didn’t work out. So I figured maybe this sport will take me places.
How has your experience been being a part of Gymkhana Fight Night over the years?
In the first edition, I had injured myself a day before the game. I wasn’t sure if I could play the next day but so much had gone into the preparation, I chose to fight. And I won. The same scene played out during the second edition. I had just returned from China with an injury.
But as a player, I have been improving since the day I joined Gymkhana. I have better skills and proper facilities than I did before.
In the third edition, you knocked down Shiv Kumar in 50 seconds. Had you expected the match to go this easy?
Well, he is taller than me and I thought he had an advantage over me. Boxers from India are skilled and strong, I was expecting a tough game but I wanted to try to knock out my opponent. In previous games, when I focused on knockouts, I would tire early but this time I took it easy. I was mentally prepared for the win but not that early on in the match.
Do you get opportunities to fight internationally?
No. It’s usually the senior players who get the chance and most are either from Nepal Army or Nepal Police.
Our government has not done enough to facilitate players like us. During the South Asian Games, I was in a training camp. We had to train in an open field; the outdoor training was terrible. There were no proper gyms which meant there were hardly any practice sessions.
How do you feel about your latest win?
My latest win has given me the ability to focus more. I’m more dedicated to the game now. I’ll soon start preparing for the next edition of the Gymkhana Fight Night.