HYDERABAD: He wanted to be a gymnast as a kid. At the age of 24, he is a proud owner of a boxing bronze (men’s 56 kg category) from the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games. Soft-spoken and barely 5 feet 6 inches tall, Mohammed Hussamuddin does not exactly give the impression that he has just returned to his home state — Telangana — with such a feat. He has his feet firmly on ground. The bantamweight boxer is all set to fly to USA on May 1 for an 18-day strength and conditioning trip at the Michael Johnson Performance, a state of the art training centre for athletes.
After grabbing a medal in his very first CWG trip, he has set his sights on his next goal — securing an Asian Games medal. “I will be at the national camp at NIS Patiala for a week, and then head to the USA. I am really looking forward to it,” he said. Hailing from a family of pugilists, Hussamuddin was coerced into the ring after getting mesmerized by the performance of his elder brothers — Ehteshamuddin and Aitesamuddin. Father Shamshuddin runs a boxing academy in their hometown of Nizamabad, which is about 170 km from Hyderabad.
“I was interested in gymnastics, but then I saw my brothers receiving applause from everybody since they had participated in international events. I thought, why does one become a sportsperson? To earn fame, right? So, I jumped into the ring at the age of seven,” he recalled. His younger brother is also in the same sport. Until 2011, he was trained only by his father. Things changed a little bit after he became a part of the youth national camp in 2011, and started training regularly at NIS Patiala when he cracked the senior national camp for the first time in 2014. “My father still trains me rigorously when I return home from Patiala,” the southpaw said with a smile.
Hussamuddin owes everything to his father. With a big family, that includes six sons and two daughters, to fend for, Shamshuddin faced financial constraints. “Our family ran a hotel business but that failed. Whatever was the situation, he never let us face any problem in building our careers. He made us disciplined as he is a taskmaster,” he said of his father who trains around 22 students at his academy. He has set a much higher target for his son. “My dream is to see him win an Olympic medal,” Shamshuddin said. Ehteshamuddin claims that Nikhat Zareen, another Nizamabad native and a former youth World Champion was trained by his father.
At the national camp, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays are off days. But to prepare for CWG, Hussamuddin trained everyday. “I made sure that I train at least once even on off days. I wanted to be completely ready for the tournament. A bronze medal at the India Open has exposed (Indians) to a lot of good international boxers. So, I was quite positive about returning with a medal.” Employed in the Indian Army as a Naib Subedar, Hussamuddin will rest for a week (as he recuperates from an injury over the right eye he sustained in the CWG semifinal) before training his punches on the next target.