Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Defending champion Amit Panghal and Olympian Shiv Thapa chalked out impressive wins over their rivals to move into the finals of their respective categories while two other Indians Vikas Krishan and Varinder Singh lost their semi final bouts at the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai.
in 52 KG category semi finals Amit out punched Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov while in 64 kg Shiva Thapa also ensured his third final appearance at the as he shocked top-seeded Bakhodur Usmonov of Tajikistan with 4-0 win.
It was a tense fight between World Championships silver medallist Amit and bronze medallist Bibossinov, the Indian opened cautiously keeping a distance from the opponent. However in the second round Amit hit some clean punches to put pressure on Bibossinov.
The Indian maintained the pressure and dominance over the Kazakh to romp home with a commanding 5-0 win.
Amit will face the Rio Olympics and World Champion Zoirov Shakhobidin of Uzbekistan in the gold medal match on Monday.
Thapa, who has already secured a record fifth consecutive medal of the Championships, will fight with the Asian Games silver medallist Mongolia’s Baatarsukh Chinzorig in the final.
Meanwhile, in the 69kg semi-finals, Vikas Krishan put up a determined fight despite being hit above the eye. The Haryana boxer had sustained a cut above his eye in the previous bout and that cut opened up again.
The Doctor examined the cut and stopped the bout in the third minute of first round. However, on the basis of points scored till then, Vikas lost against Uzbekistan’s Baturov Bobo-Usmon with a split verdict.
In the 60 kg semifinal Varinder Singh failed to get past Iran’s Daniyal Shahbakhsh and lost narrowly 2-3
Meanwhile, it was heartbreak for the two-time youth world champion Sakshi Chaudhary, who was initially adjudged as winner, in the 54kg, lost her place in the final and had to settle with bronze medal after the opponent Dina Zholaman appealed to review the last round of bout.
The jury upheld the claim and altered the result in favour of the Kazakh boxer.
Six-time World Champion Mary Kom (51kg) alongside three more Indian women pugilists—Pooja Rani (75kg), Anupama (+81kg) and Lalbuatsahi (64kg)—progressed into the finals.
The defending champion Pooja received a walk-over against Mongolia’s Munkhbat. While in the other last-4 bouts played late on Friday night, Lalbuatsaihi was declared winner after her opponents from Kuwait Noura Almutairi abandoned the bout in the second round following the Indian’s relentless attack.
Anupama (+81+kg) also emerged victorious against Mokhira Abdullaeva of Uzbekistan.
Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Jaismine (57kg) Monika (48kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Saweety (81kg) are the other women boxers who secured bronze medals after enduring defeats in their respective last-4 clashes.
India is now assured of at least six silver medals with four women already making their way into the finals earlier on Thursday at the event which is jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation.
With 15 medals confirmed, Indian contingent also achieved their highest medal haul, surpassing the previous best of 13 (2 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze) from the 2019 edition in Bangkok.
The International Boxing Association, AIBA has allocated USD 4,00,000 prize money for the on-going Championships. The gold medallists of men’s and women’s categories will be awarded with USD 10,000 while both the silver and bronze medal winners will take home USD 5,000 and 2,500 respectively.
Final matches of women’s and men’s categories will take place on Sunday and Monday respectively.