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Sures Gurung Turned Hard Life Into Boxing Career

By Chris Errington

Twenty three year old Sures Gurung is living proof that anything’s possible. Raised in hardship… angry and without direction, he’d walk the streets of Hong Kong at night looking for trouble, venting his fury by fighting other lost souls. Descending into despair and ever-closer to the deadly embrace of street gangs, hopes of success were slim for the young Nepali. One night that all changed.

Arrested for street-fighting at the tender age of sixteen, Sures was given a choice by the local Police Superintendent…box or continue on a downward spiral. Within a week he was training at the Hong Kong Police Boxing Club. Seven years later he made his professional debut on the undercard of Ricky Hatton’s ‘Road to Glory’… the biggest boxing event Hong Kong has ever seen. Of course, he won. After everything he’s faced, was there ever any doubt? Sures found a little time to talk to me about his life and his hopes as an emerging prospect and meeting Mike Tyson.

CE:  “Hi Sures. First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking some time out to answer my questions. It’s been a long hard road for you… from troubled teenager in a prison cell, to amateur fights in Japan, China, Thailand, Macau and the UK, and now here you are, a professional boxer with a 100% winning record! How does it feel to have won your first professional bout?”

SG: “It feels great. There was huge pressure as there were a lot of people to support me and I didn't want to let them down, but 2 months of hard training was really worth it”

CE: “Were you over-awed by the occasion? This was no ordinary undercard. There  were thousands present, all aware of your story from the pre-fight  video and all cheering you on as you made your way to the ring. Did this huge support make it easier for you or were you feeling the weight of expectation on your shoulders?”

SG: “The huge support made it hard as a lot of people came down and everyone has a huge expectation for me to win so I was really nervous before the fight”

CE: “Roldan Bullong was no easy opponent. He gave you a great fight and it was clear to see during and after the fight that you have great respect for each other. There’s no doubt you deserved the victory, but do you have any words of encouragement for Roldan after your battle?”

SG: “He is tough fighter, very entertaining fighting style as he like to exchange punches and always looks for Knockout. Audiences like this kind of fighter as it’s more fun to watch. I think he has a good future in professional boxing”

CE: “Could you tell us a little about your life Sures? You were born in Nepal I believe, but at what age did you and your family move to Hong Kong? Was the upheaval part of the reason you struggled in your younger years?”

SG: “I was born in Nepal, raised in Hong Kong but I hold a British citizenship. My mom was born here in Hong Kong and my grandfather was in the British army. I studied in Nepal until primary four but used to come over from time to time for summer holidays. I settled permanently in Hong Kong since twelve years old. I think one of the reasons I was heading in a bad direction was peer pressure and there was no goals in life. After joining Operation Breakthrough it changed. New good friends, especially local friends, boxing tournaments from time to time and rugby games every week rather than just roaming around with the wrong people with nothing to do”

CE: “Operation Breakthrough is a charity organisation that rehabilitates young people from underprivileged backgrounds.  As I understand they’ve had a huge impact on your development, both inside and outside the ring. Could you tell us a little more about them and the positive influence they’ve had on your life? Maybe other young people will be able to benefit”

SG: “Operation Breakthrough has changed my life. If I wasn't given a chance by the police and introduced to Operation Breakthrough, I would probably be heading in the wrong direction. I was very lucky to know great police officers who treated me like a friend and always gave me advice on life. A lot of positive influence came from them. On the street we have a bad impression of police because they aren’t that friendly but after joining this programme it gradually changed as we got to know them personally. After being with Operation Breakthrough for a few years I have already changed to a different guy, with 5 or 6 amateur fights with no losses and new friends. The Operation Breakthrough committee saw the good change and decided to sponsor my education, and now I am doing a bachelor degree in leisure and event management. The programme has had a huge impact on my life”

CE: “As an educated man, you’re soon to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Leisure and Event Management. First and foremost, do you hope to make your living in the ring? Do you see your academic background as something to fall back on once your boxing career is over?”

SG: “Yes, after finishing my education I would like to make a living in the ring and see how far I can go. Rex (Tso) is a good friend of mine and after seeing him win against a tough opponent in his recent fight, he has inspired me a lot and I will be following his footstep gradually. Education is very important and is my backup if I can’t go further in boxing or once my boxing career is over”

CE: “Do people in Nepal know about your achievements in the ring?  As a country without a great boxing tradition, do you hope one day to fight in Nepal and raise the profile of the sport?”

SG: “In Nepal, not much I guess, but the Nepalese living in Hong Kong have a brief idea that there’s a Nepali boxer representing Hong Kong Police Boxing Team, but after winning my recent professional fight many Hong Kong and Nepali media teams have wrote articles about me”

CE: “You’ve already met ring legend Mike Tyson, who wished you the best for your debut fight. That must’ve been a very special moment. You both faced struggles early in life and in some ways maybe you can relate to one another. Did he have any words of advice for a young boxer starting out in his career?”

SG: “Meeting mike Tyson was dream came true and I have been a massive fan of his since really young. Meeting him was an absolute honor. Mike Tyson was very humble to us. He mentioned about how he started boxing and gave advice on life. He mentioned we gotta change all the negativity we have in life and turn it in to positive no matter what kind of situation we are in. He was and is always a good inspiration to me and we were very to lucky to meet the boxing legend, and it wouldn't be possible without Operation Breakthrough”
 
CE: “Thank you for your time Sures. I wish you the very best for the future. I’ll be looking out for your next fight and I hope your debut  victory was the first in a long and successful boxing career”

SG: “Thanks”

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