“In a boxing match, the fighters absorb some vicious blows because they’re ready for them. And usually, the knockout punch is the one they didn’t see coming.” ~ Todd Burpo

Knockouts or boxing isn’t new for us, in fact the most read or viewed story is about Apollo Creed and boxing ! Relive its magic by clicking below:

Everyone knows what a knock out is, how deadly it is and how some famous boxers were known for their knockouts, then what are we going to see today? Talk about how boxing and knockouts made a person famous? Nah, we are going to see about how knockouts became an identity of a boxer, who was the best of his time, now all forgotten and reserved just to books and stories, left with nothing but the name he earned. Adding to all this, what if i tell you, he is an Indian, from Tamilnadu who is still considered by many as the legend of boxing, the last such generation from a family known for boxers and knockouts. Without further delay, lets dive right into his story !

The story takes place in the capital city, Chennai’s northern Side, the great “Vada Chennai”. Here boxing is not only an important entertainment, but it has been the people’s pride and identity for ages. In 1930s, the youngsters of this area considered boxing to be more than their life and dream, at that time the boxers from Choolaimedu were known as the “Idiyappa Nayyakar” family and boxers from Royapuram belonged to the “ Sarpetta” family. The families pride, honor and everything relied on their boxers win and performance. They were big arch rivals and people from over the world used to visit Chennai just to watch boxers from these two families play against each other, you can visualize their rivalry by comparing it to the Ashes series in cricket.

40 years back, the entry of our story’s hero to the game, he was celebrated all across Vadachennai and was compared with great legends of the game, he was the Undisputed “Unlimited” Champion for 12 years. He was so famous for his knockouts, in fact his percentage of knockout victories were on par with the international champions and so called “Gods” of this game.This went to become his name, he is none other than the last known legend from the great “Sarpetta” family, “KNOCKOUT” Arumugam.

Soon the game became business, instead of livelihood, pride and identity, boxers were made to fight for money. Big companies and contractors came in and auctioned players from both the families and made them play under their banner, just like IPL. Advertisements, big arenas, chief guests, tickets for watching etc came into the game, and it was known as “Public Boxing”. It was an instant hit and soon became very famous and took the names of such boxers to great heights. This is when , Arumugam became “KNOCKOUT” Arumugam and reached greater heights. He started breaking records and soon became the undefeated champion of the ring. Won a Gold in the nationals in 1976. Starting from his coach asking in public, whether anyone had the guts to face him; he went on to play 120 matches in total(three or four draws- rest all being knockouts), and set the bar so high that no one could even get close to him!

Such a great boxer must be running a big academy, dealing in crores and living a wealthy life right? Nope , he is now working in a private company in the harbor and appears in movie cameos , to run his livelihood. How did it all change?

Initially after his active years in boxing, he did coach few very talented boxers and kept inspiring many. The “Public Boxing” came to an end around the 80s and then the importance to boxing was lost due to the high involvement of business, politics and money into the game. People at high positions started to use the boxers for their use, starting from rowdyism to covering up their illegal activities. Soon the sport which was the identity for many, lost its identity. Similarly, the two great boxing families also stopped producing boxing legends, as i said before, Arumugam was the last legend from his side. So he decided to stop coaching and started working as a Supervisor in a private company. But still remains an Inspiration to many passionate boxers from Chennai and will continue to be. His name will live beyond ages !

As u might have guessed, his story definitely deserves a movie and is in the process of making , will soon be out in theaters to talk about the inspirational story of how a sport became an identity of thousands and helped them win in their lives !

Just wanted to say a line before ending the story:

“You can play politics in many ways, but do not let politics enter sports.”

“அரசியல்ல பூந்து விளையாடுங்க ஆனா விளையாட்ல அரசியல கொண்டு வராதீங்க”




“The important thing is not to stop questioning;Curiosity has its own reason for existing” Curiosity is one of the great secrets of happiness and the future belongs to the curious! This blog is just to solve your hunger of curiosity through a different perspective to every story!

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