Month after black belt sisterís demise, boxer brother dies
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Just hours before he left his house on Friday morning to participate in a local boxing bout, 18-year-old Vishal Savant promised his mother Surekha that he would give up boxing after competing for one last time.
Ever since the death of their daughter Kajal, a karateka, in November, Surekha and Mahadeo were never comfortable with the idea of their son Vishal continuing to box.
Kajal, 15, a black belt in karate suffered a fatal head injury during a tournament and the family was still coming to terms with her death.
A heated argument had preceded the night before, with Vishal's parents urging him to give up boxing. But the young boxer convinced them that he would quit after Friday's bout in the local boxing tournament.
"This will be my last fight," he is believed to have told his mother, according to Ravindra Mahendarkar a neighbour of the Savants at the Indira Nagar slum cluster in Jogeshwari.
Vishal complained of chest pain during his bout on Friday and collapsed subsequently. He was rushed to KEM hospital and was kept on life-support system for 48 hours. He died on Sunday.
"Vishal, I guess, didn't take this parent's advice seriously. He met me in the morning and said it would be his last bout. I was happy because I knew what his parents were going through every time he fought. They were happy with his decision too," Mahendarkar added.
Vishal comes from a very modest background. Growing up in the slums next to the Jogeshwari railway station, he took to boxing. The 25x25 shanty, where the family of five used to stay, is lit up with the medals and trophies the state champion in the 85+ category had won over the years.
His father, Mahadeo, runs a small-time transport business, named after his son. "Mahadeo taught Vishal driving recently with an intention of letting him take over the business.