Umakhanov boxing: Neeraj in final; Gaurav, Govind enter semis

India is now assured of six medals from the tourney.

File Photo: Gaurav Solanki (in picture) defeated Maksim Chernyshev in the quarterfinals.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar

Reigning India Open gold medallist Neeraj stunned 2016 World Champion Alessia Mesiano to enter the final of the Magomed Salam Umakhanov Memorial International Boxing Tournament in Kaspiysk, Russia on Friday.

Neeraj, a bronze medallist at the Strandja Memorial, eked out a narrow 3-2 win over Mesiano in the 57kg category to assure himself at least a silver medal.

It was a neck-and-neck fight between the two boxers but a series of clear punches from the Indian in the final round sealed the tie in his favour.

Earlier, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Gaurav Solanki and 2019 India Open silver medallist Govind Sahani assured two more medals for India by entering the semi-finals on Thursday.

Gaurav, a bronze medallist at this year’s India Open, defeated Russia’s Maksim Chernyshev 3-2 in a split verdict to enter the last-four round of 56kg category.

Gaurav initially played patiently against his Russian opponent before increasing the tempo with a flurry of punches to secure the win.

Later, Govind, a silver medallist at the GeeBee Boxing earlier this year, outboxed Tajikistan’s Shermukhammad Rustamov in the 49kg category to earn the first RSC win of the tournament.

Govind dominated the proceedings from the word go and showed great display of his attacking prowess. He continued the onslaught throughout the match, forcing the referee to stop the contest in the third round.

However, it was curtains for Ashish Insha in the quarterfinals of the 52kg division, losing 1-4 to Russia’s Islamitdin Alisoltanov.

The match was in the balance till the last round before Ashish conceded a few clear punches in the dying minutes of the tie to suffer the defeat.

The 2018 India Open gold medallist Sanjeet had to forego his bout against Russian counterpart Daniel Lutai after suffering a cut on his forehead in the first round of the match.

India are assured of six medals as four women and two men have reached the semifinals here