Manoj Kumar strikes gold, Shiva Thapa settles for silver

Competing for the RSPB, Manoj (69kg) defeated Duryodhan Singh (SSCB); Shiva lost on a split verdict to Manish Kaushik (SSCB).

Manoj Kumar claimed his second successive National Championships’ gold in Visakhapatnam on Monday.   -  RITU RAJ KONWAR

Railway Sports Promotion Board emerged overall champions in the second Elite men’s national boxing championship at the Swarna Bharathi Indoor Stadium here on Monday.

The tone and tenor for Railways domination on the final day was set by its boxer Salman Shekh, who was actually declared loser in the semifinal on Sunday but the jury reviewed the decision late in the night in his favour. He outpunched Lal Dinmawia of Mizoram 5-0 on points in the fly weight category to the delight of the lustily cheering team supporters.

Then, Goa's Santosh Harijan, in his maiden final, had to be content with a silver as his Services rival and SAF Games gold medallist, Madan Lal earned a 3-2 verdict in the bantam weight category. Once again, Santosh had the crowd on its feet when he displayed his unique style of swaying away from the rival's punches with a wry smile. But then, he looked woefully short against the experienced international when it came to landing his punches.

National Boxing Championship: Manoj Kumar goes for gold

Later, it was the turn of another Railway boxer, and SAF Games gold medallist Mandeep Jhangra, to cheer up his camp with a fluent 5-0 win over Vanhlimpuia of Mizoram with his measured combination of left and right jabs in the middle weight category.

Another major upset of the evening was when Manish Kaushik of Services got the better of double Olympian and World championship bronze medallist Shiva Thapa of Assam with a 4-1 verdict on points in the light weight category which saw the loser leave the ring in disgust. It was obvious Manish, who was later adjudged 'most promising boxer' of the meet award, was unfazed by the reputation of the rival.

In a crucial, penultimate bout of the championship, 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist and double Olympian Manoj Kumar of RSPB outpunched Duryodhan Singh of Services in the welter weight category while, his teammate Manish Panwar got a walk-over in the light heavy category against Neel Kamal of Delhi to help Railways clinch the honours.

Services finished runner-up.

Special prizes were given to Manoj Kumar of RSPB (best boxer), Manoj Kaushik (most promising boxer) and NT Lalbiakkima of Mizoram (best challenger).


The results

All finals: Fly: Salman Shekh (RSPB) bt Lal Dinmawia (Miz) 5-0.

Bantam: Madan Lal (SSCB) bt Santosh Harijan (Goa) 3-2.

Lt welter: Dheraj Kumar (SSCB) w\o Basant Thapa (MP).

Middle: Mandeep Jhangra (RSPB) bt Vanhlimpuia (Miz) 5-0.

Heavy: Naman (Har) bt Varinder Kumar (HP) 5-0.

Super heavy: Satish Kumar (SSCB) bt Parvin Kumar (Har)- RSC 3rd round.

Light fly: K. Shyam Kumar (RSPB) bt NT Lalbiakkima (Miz) 3-2.

Light: Manish Kaushik (SSCB) bt Shiva Thapa (Assam) 4-1.

Welter: Manoj Kumar (RSPB) bt Duryodhan Singh (SSCB) 5-0.

Light heavy: Manish Panwar (RSPB)) w\o Neel Kamal (Dli).

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