Services shine at National Boxing Championships
Pune : Services one-upmanship came to the fore as eight of their boxers entered the final of the third Elite Men's Boxing National Championships here on Thursday.
In comparison, only seven Railways pugilists made the final cut but, in the process, they suffered an unexpected loss in the form of CWG bronze medallist Naman Tanwar in the heavyweight category.
This, in effect, titled the balance in favour of SSCB as Sanjeet was the one who accounted for Naman in the 91 kg class, what turned out to be a fantastic bout which the Services boxer won through a 3:2 verdict.
The other Services boxers who made it to the finals included Deepak (46kg), P.L. Prasad (53kg), Madan Lal (56kg), Manish Kaushik (60kg), Duryodhan Singh Negi (69kg), Manjeet Singh (75kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg).
Earlier, Railways' Sachin Siwach was packed off by none other than P.L. Prasad, who is known for upsetting big names. Prasad had upset Amit Panghal, the Jakarta Asian Games gold medal winner at the All India Services Championship, a year ago. Keeping his giant-killer reputation intact, Prasad defeated Sachin in the fly (52kg) category, winning the semifinal 5:0.
Touted as the bout of the evening, Prasad began with a couple of jabs and opened avenues to deliver his combination blows to Sachin in the very first round. Sachin, surprisingly, was on the back foot and came into his own to send some straights into Prasad. But the Services boxers not only kept his rival out of harm's ways but managed to land a few lefts on Sachin.
In the third round, the two tired boxers mostly avoided each other even as Prasad sent in a couple of blows to Sachin which the judges seemed to have accounted for. In the end, it was a win-win situation for Prasad, who will be meeting Ananta Chopade of Maharashtra in the final tomorrow.
But other RSPB boxers who sailed into the finals included Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg), Ankush Dahiya (60kg), Dinesh (69kg), Prayag Chauhan (75kg), Manish Panwar (81kg) and Jasveer Sngh (+91kg), winning their bouts on points.
Himashu Sharma of Punjab stood out in the opening bout of the day, despite Pankaj Saini of All India Police managed to deal with him bravely in the light fly class (46 kg), which Himanshu won 4:1 But tomorrow, the Punjab boxer will have his task cut out as he would be taking on Deepak of Services, who won against Nagaland's Govind Kumar Sahani 5:0.
Brijesh Yadav of Rajasthan knocked out Sanjay of Haryana in what was an interesting bout in the light heavyweight category. But credit must go to the Haryana boxer for trying to put up a good resistance until the third round.