India Open Boxing: Thapa cruises into quarters

Olympian Shiva Thapa cruised into the quarterfinal of the India Open international boxing championship with a 5-0 win over Dorji Wangdi on Monday.

Shiva Thapa (R) in action against Dorji Wangdi at the India Open International Boxing Tournament on Monday.   -  Sushil Kumar Verma

Olympian Shiva Thapa warmed up for the tougher challenges ahead with a 5-0 points victory over Dorji Wangdi of Bhutan in the men’s lightweight pre-quarterfinals of the Spicejet India Open international boxing championship at the Thyagaraj Indoor Stadium here on Monday.

The youngest Indian to compete in the London Olympics, the 24-year-old Thapa emphasised strong technique, quick foot work and agile punches to win the respect of his opponent. In the quarterfinals, Thapa will face Sherbek Rakhmatulloev of Uzbekistan who won an unanimous verdict from the five judges.

READ: Mary Kom advances to quarterfinal

In the same weight category, Manish Kaushik’s persistence to stay close to his Cuban opponent Armando Martinez Rabi was rewarded with a 3-2 victory on points. The Cuban was right on target most of the time, but Manish managed to land his punches with his gutsy approach.

In the quarterfinals, Manish Kaushik will will face Charly Suarez of Philippines. Ankush Dahiya was the other Indian boxer to make the quarterfinals.

In the heavyweight section, three Indian boxers Sanjeet, Naman Tanwar and Sumit Sangwan made the semifinals. They will have to tackle the formidable Sanjar Tursunov of Uzbekistan if they aspire to bag the winner’s purse of $2500.

Devendro Singh, who made the London Olympics quarterfinals and had won the silver in the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, fought a fierce battle against compatriot Laldin Mavia, who suffered a cut near his left eye that compelled the referee to stop the contest on medical advice.

However, Mavia was leading at the stage and was declared the winner, thus progressing into the flyweight quarterfinals. Gaurav Solanki, Salman Anwar Shaik also made the quarterfinals, with convincing performances against their Nepalese and Malaysian opponents. Kavinder Singh Bisht had a good fight against Ongjunta Tanes of Thailand but lost 2-3.

In the light welterweight class, Dheeraj, Ashish and Rohit Tokas made the quarterfinals.
In men’s light flyweight section, Amit, Nutlai Lalbiakkima, Shyam Kumar Kakara made the quarterfinals. Sachin Siwach was beaten 3-2 by Narinram Thani of Thailand. National championship silver medallist Vanhlimpuia won 5-0 against Edwin Okongo Owuor of Kenya to join national champion Mandeep Jangra in the quarterfinals of the middleweight section.

In the women’s section, Sarjubala Devi, Pinki Rani made the semifinals of the 51-kg class. Nikhat Zareen lost to Jargalan Ochirbat of Mongolia 2-3 while Ritu was beaten with the same margin by Chuthamat Raksat of Thailand. The Indian women can eye all the three medals in the 54 kg section, as three of them Jamuna Boro, Meena Kumari and Manisha figure in the semifinals along with Bimala Shrestha of Nepal.

India was also assured of a silver in the 69 kg event, as Pooja will fight Heena in the semifinals, while the other semfiinal will be between Lovlina Borgohain and Erdenetuya Enkhbaatar of Mongolia.

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