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Shahid Kapoor steps into boxer Dingko Singh’s shoes for biopic

The life story of the boxer who won gold at the 1998 Asian Games and survived cancer will be directed by Raja Krishna Menon.

Sonal Pandya

A day after National Sports Day (29 August) comes news that actor Shahid Kapoor will be stepping into the boxing ring to tell the life story of Ngangom Dingko Singh, the 39-year-old former boxer from Manipur. The biopic will be directed by Raja Krishna Menon and is due to begin shooting next April.

A young man who grew up in an orphanage, Dingko Singh, was a promising talent who proved his potential. In 1998, Singh burst on to the international stage with a gold medal at the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok defeating Thai boxer Wong Prages Sontaya in the 54kg Bantamweight category.

Singh, who later joined the Indian Navy, was awarded with the Arjuna Award in 1998 and Padma Shri by the government in 2013.

Kapoor, spoke to Bombay Times, a daily supplement, about the boxer's journey, “The thing that I loved about this story is that he is one of those superstars who we don't know much about. If a film like Dangal (2016) wasn't made, we wouldn't know as much about the Phogat sisters from Haryana. Dingko is a cancer survivor, and he went through 13 rounds of chemotherapy. He has even gone on to say that his biggest win was surviving cancer and not the gold medal he won at the age of 19 at the Asian Games in Bangkok.

“In 2017, cricketer Gautam Gambhir became aware of his situation and sent money towards his treatment,” the actor said, adding, "Soon after, people found out who he was and 13 doctors came forward to help him with cancer treatment. He is a sports star who survived cancer, and at some point in his past, he had almost become a Naxalite. His life story is unbelievably crazy; it is very human and extremely inspiring. Such amazing stories of heroes need to be told.”

Earlier this year, Kapoor played Rajput king Ratan Singh in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus, Padmaavat (2018). The actor will next be seen in Shree Narayan Singh’s Batti Gul Meter Chalu (2018) which will be released on 21 September 2018.