World Junior bronze-medallist Sachin Singh (49kg) today became only the third Indian boxer ever to strike gold at the AIBA Youth World Championships with a stunning unanimous victory over Cuban national champion Jorge Grinan in the summit clash at St Peterburg, Russia.

The 17-year-old outpunched his more fancied rival 5-0 to record a rare Indian triumph over a Cuban boxer - but it is the story of how he got here that is fascinating.

An Indian Express report says that Sachin's father was having a tough time handling the needs of a growing athlete, but a wandering cow solved his short-term problems, providing milk for Sachin and allowing him to realise his dream.

“The coach told me that fresh cow milk would be an essential part of his diet along with almonds, chickpeas, fruits, churma, etc. I knew I could somehow manage almonds, but I could not afford a cow," his father Krishan is quoted as saying.

While it may sound far-fetched, the story of a boxer emerging from a family which was bound by financial constraints and winning gold for his country is always heart-warming, and even a skeptic would find it hard to question this fight against the odds.

Khana-peena humne karwaya. Coach ne mehnat karwai. Baaki gau maata hai (We took care of his diet, coach focused on his training. For the rest, we have a cow),” his father told Indian Express.

"Two of my fellow Indian boxers had lost to Cubans earlier in the tournament, I wanted to extract revenge and I am glad I could do it. It is very satisfying to beat stronger and better rivals, especially if it happens to be a Cuban," Sachin told PTI from St Petersburg after the brilliant triumph.

The lanky teen, who once again put his powerful left jab to good use, displayed brilliant ringcraft against his shorter and often clueless opponent.

India thus finished the tournament with one gold and a bronze, a marked improvement from the solitary bronze won in the 2014 edition. Naman Tanwar (91kg) had settled for a bronze after losing in the semifinal yesterday.

As promised at a send-off function before the boxers' departure to Russia, the newly-formed Boxing Federation of India was quick to announce a Rs one lakh cash award for Sachin, while Naman will be presented Rs 25,000. The BFI has also promised to suitably reward the coaches travelling with the team.

The Bhiwani lad, whose formative coaching took place at the Hawa Singh Academy, joined Thokchom Nanao Singh and Vikas Krishan in the Indian youth world championships gold club. While Nanao had finished on top in the 2008 edition in the now phased out 48kg category, Vikas had brought home the welterweight gold in 2010.

The class 12th student, who had been in peerless form through the tournament, was not the least bit intimidated by the higher-rated Cuban.

In fact, his strategy of swaying back and forcing Grinan to lunge forward worked brilliantly as the Cuban found it difficult to keep his balance.

With PTI inputs

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Feature image source: Twitter