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BRONZE MEDAL pugilist Lakha Singh (52) was a hero of the Republic of India at the Asian Games in 1994 but is now earning just 8,000 rupees (£92) a month as a cabbie in the northern Punjab city of Ludhiana.

Singh had been one of the country’s best boxers in the 1990s but his life took a turn for the worse in 1998 when he and fellow boxer, Debendra Thapa, were meant to take part in the World Military Boxing Championship. The pair vanished from Texas Airport and were subsequently declared absconders by the Indian army.

Mr Singh said:

I tagged along with Thapa and we had a couple of drinks with his friends. The next thing I know, I woke up and found myself locked in a room, where I stayed confined for nearly a month. Then I was thrown out of the apartment and that was toughest day of my life. It then took me eight years to save the money for a plane ticket back to India.

The former boxing champion is now struggling to survive as a cabbie and said: “Even the taxi I drive is not mine.”

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PHC Magazine

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