Devendro Singh pipped Ananta Chopre 3-2 in a close semifinal bout in the National Boxing Championship at the Nabin Chandra Bordoloi indoor stadium, Sarusajai, here on Monday. This is the third such scoreline in four bouts for the Commonwealth Games silver medallist, who is competing in a higher weight category — 52 kg — here.
In the opening round, Chopre responded strongly to Devendro’s combinations with straight punches. The Olympian dominated the second by landing a few clean punches, including a right following which Chopre received a standing count.
Devendro, who often ducked against his taller rival, got a warning in the third. He, however, overcame a few straight punches from Chopre to reach the summit clash.
For Shiva Thapa, facing tremendous pressure from different quarters, including home supporters following his head injury in the quarterfinals, putting up a good fight without aggravating his injury was a huge challenge. It was more of a tactical battle and the brave Shiva used his experience to protect his wound while making it to the final.
Without employing a close guard, Shiva used his dodging and swaying technique to good effect even as his opponent Vijay Kumar looked for an opportunity to land a punch on the forehead.
Shiva’s quick and accurate punches tilted the bout in his favour in the second round. A handsome left, followed by an excellent right in the third were good enough to secure a unanimous decision, which must have boosted Shiva’s morale ahead of the 60 kg title clash.
Asian youth silver medallist Ankush Dahiya defeated former National champion Vikas Malik 5-0 in a hard-fought 60 kg semifinal contest.
A lesser-known Virender Kumar showed Olympian Dinesh Kumar the exit by handing him a 3-2 defeat in 91 kg. Comeback man Dinesh, who had it easy in the pre-quarterfinals and quarters and therefore did not have enough match practice, was pushed on to the back foot by an aggressive Virender in the first round itself. Dinesh later landed a few clean punches to salvage some pride but his effort came too late.
In a close +91 kg contest between two internationals, Parveen Kumar breached the tall Amritpreet Singh’s guard too often to record a 3-2 victory.
The results (semifinals):
49 kg: Shyam Kumar (RSPB) beat Akshay (Maharashtra) RSC-OC, Amit (Haryan) w.o. Bahadur Rana (SSCB).
52 kg: Devendro Singh (Manipur) beat Ananta Chopre (Maharashtra) 3-2, Deepak Singh (Chandigarh) beat Laldinmawia (Mizoram) 3-2.
56 kg: Mohd. Hussamuddin (SSCB) beat Sheran Sandhu (Uttarakhand) 5-0, Akshay (Haryana) beat Gidi Venkata (AP) 4-1.
60 kg: Shiva Thapa (Assam) beat Vijay Kumar (Punjab) 5-0, Ankush Dahiya (Haryana) beat Vikas Malik (RSPB) 5-0.
64 kg: Rohit (RSPB) beat Sandeep (AIP) 3-2, Thomas Meitei (SSCB) beat Roshan Singh (Manipur) 5-0.
69 kg: Manoj Kumar (RSPB) beat Ankush Hudda (Chandigarh) 5-0, Duryodhan Singh (SSCB) beat Prayag Chavhan (Delhi) 5-0.
75 kg: Venhlimpuia (Mizoram) beat Nanao Singh (Manipur) RSC-OC, Jaideep (SSCB) beat Sumit Kumar (Uttarakhand) 5-0.
81 kg: Manish Panwar (RSPB) beat Devanshu Jaiswal (SSCB) 3-2, Rahul (MP) beat Geet Anand (HP) 3-2.
91 kg: Virender Kumar (HP) beat Dinesh Kumar (AIP) 3-2, Gaurav (MP) beat Sanjeet (SSCB) 3-2.
+91 kg: Satish Kumar (SSCB) beat Akash (Delhi) RSC-OC, Parveen Kumar (Haryana) beat Amritpreet Singh (RSPB) 4-1.