Meet Sabari Jaishankar, the Chennai-based Indian pro boxer who recently clinched the World Boxing Council’s Australasia Title in the Welterweight division by defeating Australian champion Michael Pengue in Sydney. At just 25, Sabari boasts an impressive record of 8 wins and 1 loss from 9 fights. With numerous accolades, including six Senior State Gold Medals in Tamil Nadu and two WBC Indian Titles, Sabari’s journey exemplifies resilience and talent. His triumphs inspire aspiring athletes worldwide as he continues to rise in the boxing arena. Let’s get to know more about Sabari in an exclusive interview with Provoke Lifestyle Magazine.

  1. Can you tell us about your journey into the world of boxing? What inspired you to pursue this sport?
    My journey into the world of boxing began unexpectedly in 5th grade. Following a confrontation with a neighbour, my father made the decision to enroll me in boxing classes. Initially, it wasn’t a choice I made for myself, but rather one made for me. However, as I immersed myself in training and became more involved in the sport, a passion ignited within me. Initially drawn to the discipline and structure of boxing, I found myself embracing the early morning classes and the physical and mental challenges they presented. Over time, I came to appreciate the technical aspects of the sport—the footwork, strategy, and finesse required to outmaneuver opponents. While my father’s initial push set me on this path, it was the passion and determination I developed along the way that kept me going. Boxing has evolved from a mere sport into a way of life—a constant pursuit of self-improvement, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of my goals.
  2. As the current Australasia Champion, what does this title mean to you, and how has it impacted your career?
    Winning the Australasia Championship signifies the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. As the first Indian to achieve this honour in the World Boxing Council and to be internationally ranked under 36, it’s a momentous achievement that fills me with pride. This victory not only boosted my confidence but also inspired other aspiring boxers from India and beyond. It’s a testament to the power of perseverance and the belief that with determination, even the loftiest goals can be reached.
  3. How does it feel to represent Chennai and Tamil Nadu as the Champion of Australasia? What does this achievement mean to you and your hometown?
    Representing Chennai and Tamil Nadu as the Champion of Australasia fills me with immense pride and honor. It’s not just about winning a title for myself but also about representing my hometown and my state on a global stage. This achievement holds special meaning for my hometown because it highlights the talent and capabilities of athletes from the region. It serves as inspiration for the youth aspiring to pursue sports as a career, showing them that with hard work, dedication, and the right support, they too can achieve great heights. Moreover, my success as the Champion of Australasia brings attention to Chennai and Tamil Nadu in the global sporting community. It puts us on the map and showcases our potential as a hub for sports talent. It also fosters a sense of pride and unity among the people of Chennai and Tamil Nadu, as they rally behind a local athlete achieving success on an international level.
  4. Could you share some of the most memorable moments from your boxing career so far?
    Winning the inaugural WBC Indian Title and becoming the first Indian WBC Champion is undoubtedly one of the most memorable moments in my boxing career. It stands out as a constant reminder of what can be achieved with hard work, dedication, and unwavering belief in oneself. The moment I lifted that title belt, I felt a profound sense of accomplishment and pride. It was a validation of all the hours spent in training, the countless sacrifices made, and the unwavering determination to succeed against all odds. Being recognized as the first Indian WBC Champion is an honor that I will always cherish.
  5. What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a boxer, and how have you overcome them?
    As a boxer, I’ve encountered several significant challenges throughout my career, but two of the biggest ones stand out: maintaining discipline during training camps and managing weight cuts leading up to fights. Training camps leading up to a fight demand an incredible amount of discipline and dedication. Overcoming this challenge necessitates mental fortitude and a strong sense of commitment. It means pushing through fatigue, overcoming moments of doubt, and staying focused on the ultimate goal. Weight management is a critical aspect of boxing, especially in the days leading up to a fight. Many boxers undergo significant weight cuts to compete in their desired weight class, which can involve shedding several pounds in a short amount of time. Cutting weight involves strict dietary restrictions and increased physical activity to burn calories and shed excess water weight. This process can be physically and mentally demanding, as it often requires depriving oneself of food and water to meet the weight limit.
  6. Describe your typical training regimen. What does a day in the life of Sabari Jaishankar look like during training camp?
    I work out three times a day and take small breaks. In between, I love to play Pubg. In short, I train and sleep, train and sleep, train and sleep again. Throughout the training camp, it’s essential to maintain a balance between intense workouts, proper nutrition, and adequate rest to optimize performance and minimize the risk of injury. Additionally, staying focused on the goal of the upcoming fight and maintaining a positive mindset are crucial for success in the ring.
  7. Who are your role models or sources of inspiration in the world of boxing?
    Financial Inspiration: Floyd Mayweather is undoubtedly one of the most successful and wealthiest boxers of all time. His business acumen, strategic thinking, and dedication to his craft have enabled him to amass an incredible fortune throughout his career. Mayweather’s ability to generate massive paydays through his fights, as well as his savvy investments and entrepreneurial ventures, have set him apart as a financial role model for many aspiring athletes. My goal is to emulate Mayweather’s success through my career in the WBC and utilize my earnings to support upcoming athletes in my state and country. Skill Game Inspiration: Prince Naseem Hamed, also known as “Prince Naz,” is a former professional boxer celebrated for his flamboyant style, showmanship, and exceptional boxing skills. Hamed’s unorthodox fighting style, lightning-fast reflexes, and knockout power made him a formidable opponent in the ring. He was renowned for his innovative footwork, flashy entrances, and ability to entertain audiences with his boxing prowess. His capacity to think outside the box, adapt unconventional techniques, and showcase creativity in the ring established him as a true innovator in the sport of boxing.
  8. How do you mentally prepare yourself before a big fight?
    I try not to think about anything; I just listen to music in my headphones, mostly motivational Eminem songs and Tamil songs. I don’t plan a lot because, in boxing, nothing goes as per plan. Mental preparation before a big fight is crucial for maintaining focus, confidence, and composure in the ring. In boxing, if you plan and get in the ring, that usually doesn’t work.
  9. What do you believe sets Indian boxing apart on the international stage, and what improvements would you like to see in the sport in India?
    Indian boxing has made significant strides on the international stage, with several talented boxers achieving success and recognition in various competitions worldwide.

Strengths of Indian Boxing:
Talent Pool – India boasts a large pool of talented boxers with natural athleticism, determination, and passion for the sport.

Coaching and Training Programs – Over the years, India has invested in developing robust coaching and training programs to nurture young boxing talent.

International Exposure – Indian boxers have increasingly gained exposure to international competitions through participation in tournaments, training camps, and exchange programs. Government Support – The Indian government has shown a commitment to promoting sports, including boxing, by providing financial support, infrastructure development, and policy initiatives

Areas for Improvement:
Infrastructure and Facilities – Many aspiring boxers lack access to well-equipped training centers, proper coaching, and essential amenities, hindering their development.

Sports Science and Technology:- Implementing sports science disciplines such as biomechanics, nutrition, sports psychology, and injury prevention can optimize training programs and maximize athletes’ potential.

Promotion and Public Awareness- Initiatives such as grassroots development programs, school-level competitions, and media coverage can inspire young athletes to pursue boxing and garner public interest.

Governance and Administration:- Ensuring fair selection processes, effective management of resources, and combating corruption are essential for fostering a conducive environment for the development of boxing in India.

  1. Can you share any advice for aspiring boxers who aspire to follow in your footsteps?
    Motivation and energy levels will fluctuate, but achieving goals requires consistency and a steadfast belief in hard work.
  2. What are your goals and aspirations for the future?
    I aspire to become a World Champion in Pro Boxing, and I am determined to make that dream a reality.


  1. Favourite pre-fight meal?
    Curd rice, dal rice, juices or any light food without spice.
  2. Toughest opponent you’ve faced so far?
    My Girlfriend.
  3. Boxing idol you’d love to spar with?
    Prince Naseem Hamed.
  4. Favorite boxing movie?
  5. If you weren’t a boxer, what profession would you pursue?
    I would have chosen Football.