Haryana boy Manoj Kumar created a buzz in India after he defeated two-time Olympic medal winner Evaldas Petrauskas of Lithuania in 2016. Although, Manoj Kumar had not won any medal for the country and had bowed out from pre-quarters, yet the Haryana-lad was able to grab the eyeballs of Indians with his exceptional performance in the Rio Olympics 2016.
The hopes for Manoj winning a medal was very slim but he stirred a buzz in Indian camps by giving boxing lessons to the two-time Olympic medal winner Petrauskas.
Once the Haryana boy bowed out from the Olympics everyone was disappointed that he did not win a medal for India, but nobody knew his struggle, how he managed to qualify Olympics let alone defeating two-time world champions.
Manoj picked boxing as a career at the age of 18 and it was his big brother's decision who decided to bring him in this sports. Manoj's elder brother Rajesh Kumar had won gold in his university but he was not able to make it to the national team. That's why he decided to train Manoj so that he can represent India someday.
Manoj's first major victory in the world of boxing came in the year 2008 when he became the national boxing champion by defeating defending champion Som Bahadur. At the age of just 22, he had become the national champion. After winning the trophy of national champion Manoj never looked back.
In the year 2010, Manoj once again created a buzz after winning the gold medal in the Commonwealth games. After this event there was a phase in which a decline in Manoj's performance was seen. After winning gold in the commonwealth, the boxer did not win any major tournament till 2015. In 2015 Manoj won a gold medal in Doha International Tournament. Before Doha tournament, the boxer had also performed in London Olympics 2012, but the boxer claimed that he had become the victim of biased refereeing. After the controversial incident of London Olympics, the boxer once again manages to shine and won Arjuna award in the year 2014 even after losing to Samuel Maxwell of Great Britain in the quarter-final match of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
After losing at Glasgow Commonwealth Games, the Indian boxer made a solid comeback to position six in the AIBA rankings. After the London controversy, the boxer's sole purpose was to win gold in Rio Olympics. But he was not able to do that and bowed down from the Rio Olympics at the pre-quarters.