India’s highest rated boxer in the AIBA ranking lists (6th) and World Championionship bronze medallist Shiva Thapa is an extremely fun-loving, adorable and kind hearted personand a true youth icon in every sense. Born on 8th December 1993, Shiva Thapa is the youngest of six children born to a Nepali origin father Padam Thapa, a karate instructor in Guwahati, Assam. His elder brother Gobind Thapa was an Assam state-level medal winning boxer.
This young boxer from Assam was initially drawn towards Karate, athletics and football. After watching Mike Tyson on television, he decided to take up boxing seriously. And, after that, there was no looking back. He made a grand entry to international boxing by becoming the youngest Indian to represent India at the London Olympics Games, 2012. Shiva Thapa rose on to become one of the brightest starts, and today India’s boxing lovers are pinning their hopes on him. He was qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympic in the Men’s 56 Kg event.
Shiva Thapa’s largest victory came in 2012 when he won the Asian Olympic Qualifiers and also defeated the Syrian Wessam Salamana to win over the gold medal and then qualified for the 2012 Olympics in London in the category of 56 kgs. As a teenage boxing sensation, Shiva Thapa created history and emerged as one of the most promising boxers in the international arena and remained the youngest player at the tender age of just 18 years to gain entry to the Olympics. He, however, lost in the first round of the London Olympics, losing 9–14 to Mexico’s Oscar Valdez Fierro in the (56 kg) Bantamweight category. Since fighting his first bout in 2005 to being ranked third in the world in the 56-kg category, it has been an exhilarating journey for the young boxer. He is the third Indian to clinch Gold at the Asian Games
At the 2008 Children Asia International Sports Games that was held in Yakutsk (Russia) Shiva Thapa won a bronze medal in his category. At the same year at Haider Aliyev Cup, he won the prestigious gold medal. Owing to this performance, he was chosen to represent India in the 52-kg category at the 2009 Junior World Boxing Championships in Armenia. Incidentally, Thapa was the lone international medalist who won bronze medal from the team of seven boxers that travelled to Yerevan. His biggest win came in 2010 when he won the Silver medal at the World Youth Boxing Championships and the Youth Olympic Games, Singapore. In the year 2013 he became the youngest and 3rd Indian in Boxing history at the Asian Confederation Boxing Championship to win Gold in Amman, Jordan. Shiva Thapa participated in the 2013 World Boxing Championships, which was held at Almaty, Kazakhstan and on his debut Shiva reached the quarterfinals of the World Championship. But Shiva failed to get medals in both Commonwealth Games and Asian Games losing the bout in first round and quarterfinals respectively. Shiva Thapa reached a career high second spot in international rankings, after winning a bronze medal last at the 2015 World Championships, Doha. He also became the first Indian to sign with a foreign franchise USA team in the World Series Boxing (WSB) United State of America (USA).
Boxing was seen as a huge medal prospect for India at the Rio Games 2016. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) implemented ‘new’ set of rules to decide the draws. The seedings were done after considering the performances of each boxer in pro events like APB and WSB which affected the Indian fighters. Shiva Thapa was the first one to face the consequences of the newly formed structure. Despite being ranked No. 6 in the world, Shiva remained unseeded in the Olympics. He was pitted against defending Olympic and former World Champion Robeisy Ramirez of Cuba in his first round match in the 56kg bantamweight division.
Competing in his second Olympics, he was knocked out of the Olympic Games after being out-punched by fourth-seeded Cuban Robeisy Ramirez in the opening round by lost 0-3 in a one-sided contest in which he also ended up sustaining a cut above his left eye. Shiva was on the backfoot from the very beginning of the contest and was well beaten on points, losing all three rounds. Defeat in the first two rounds effectively ended Shiva’s chances.