New Delhi: Indian boxers can't stop raving about their immense contribution to the sport's meteoric rise in the country but three coaches remain unsung heroes ahead of the London Olympics, insisting that their wards' respect and adulation makes up for the general lack of recognition.

Jaidev Bisht, C A Kuttappa and Ramanand -- all three of them former competitors -- are the "friends" in whom the boxers confide, share their most innate fears and knock on their doors in the middle of the night with sparring requests.

In fact, Beijing Olympics bronze-medallist Vijender Singh calls them the cornerstone of Indian boxing's rise in the past five years and the ones who wipe off the pugilists' blood and sweat after every bout.

Bisht, Kuttappa and Ramanand are the assistants who national coach Gurbaksh Singh Sandhu says have been the pivotal cogs in all that has improved in Indian boxing.

Dronacharya awardee Bisht, 46, is the most experienced of the lot, having joined the national team back in 1997, but Kuttappa and Ramanand have also put in half a decade each after quitting competitive boxing.

The three are lauded time and again by the boxers, who vouch for their "immense dedication", insisting that they are "friends and father figures" rolled into one.

Of the three, only Bisht will accompany the team to London while Kuttappa and Ramanand will catch the action from their Pune bases.

"It does strike sometimes that the limelight never comes on us but the love and adulation that we get from the boys is immense and we never really miss anything else. Having meals with them, sharing life with them while training makes up for everything that might be missing," Kuttappa said.

"We are human beings at the end of the day and it is natural to sometimes reflect on thoughts of being rather unknown but more important is the focus on getting good results. If the results are good, recognition will follow some day," added Ramanand, who is just a year older than Kuttappa.

"Recognition or the lack of it is a momentary thought that comes to mind when you are thinking too much but we are driven by this single-point agenda of training the boys to the best of our abilities and why complain when we know that it is an old Indian tradition to focus on the result instead of the process," laughed Bisht.

An unprecedented seven-strong boxing team -- comprising L Devendro Singh (49kg), Shiva Thapa (56kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Vijender (75kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) -- is going to London Olympics.

All excited about the its prospects, Bisht, Kuttappa and Ramanand insist that more than one medal in boxing is on its way to India this time.

"Youngsters like Shiva, Sumit, Vikas (all teenagers) and Devendro (20) are a fearless lot because they have nothing to lose as such and this mindset works to their advantage. I am sure this time we will get more medals and hopefully better-coloured ones," said Bisht.

"These youngsters are never in awe of their opponents and that makes them special. An established name always has expectations to deal, these young boys are carefree which helps them remain calm even before big bouts," added Ramanand.

Looking back at their respective journeys so far, all three of them have some special moments to cherish.

"After the Beijing Olympics, Vijender took me to a surprise party where he introduced me to Bollywood stars and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. That was a very special gesture by him," recalled the 32-year-old Kuttappa.

On the other hand, Bisht and Ramanand's memorable moments have one common link, 2006 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Akhil Kumar.

"After the 2008 World Cup, when he got a bronze, Akhil gave a share of his prize money to the coaches which was a very touching gesture," said Ramanand.

"He gifted me a car some years ago which will remain one of the most cherished gifts that I have ever got," added Bisht.


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