Shiva Thapa beat Tajikistan’s Bakhodur Usmonov 4-1 in a closely-fought men’s 63.5kg semifinal contest to be the only Indian male boxer to reach the final of the Asian Boxing Championships in Amman on Thursday.
Thapa, who earlier ensured a record sixth continental medal, will meet Uzbekistan’s Ruslan Abdullaev in the final on Saturday.
The experienced Thapa mixed his lusty left jabs and combinations to win the first round. Usmonov, the 2019 champion, stepped up attack to take the second. But Thapa inflicted a count on Usmonov and beat him again in the event.
Four of five Indian men in the semifinals took bronze.
Double Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin (57kg) did not take the ring as he was declared ‘medically unfit’ because of a cut he received in the quarterfinals.
Sumit Kundu (75kg) lost to defending champion Jafarov Saiddjamshid 5-0.
Narender Berwal (+92kg) was beaten 5-0 by another Uzbek, Strandja gold medallist Lazizbek Mullojonov.
On Wednesday night, Worlds medalists Parveen Hooda (63kg) and Saweety Boora (81kg) posted wins in their respective semifinal bouts to enter the finals.
Five women, including Minakshi (52kg), Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) and Alfiya Pathan (+81kg), progressed to title clashes.