Men's Boxing Nationals begins in Himachal, Delhi lad Abhilash records impressive win

The first day of the Nationals saw a total of 36 bouts. More than 300 boxers from 39 teams will participate in the Championships which ends on October 10.

Abhilash of Delhi won a tough bout in 63kg in the National boxing championships at Baddi on Friday.   -  Y.B. Sarangi

In a gripping 69kg first round bout, promising Delhi lad Abhilash withstood a strong challenge from Mohammad Ali of Uttar Pradesh to record an impressive 3-2 victory on the opening day of the National boxing championships at the Baddi University of Emerging Sciences and Technology on Friday.

Nineteen-year-old Abhilash, a Khelo India silver medallist and a two-time National youth bronze medal winner, used straight punches and upper cuts well against Ali, who put up a good fight with his powerful combinations.

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As the duel hung in balance, Abhilash used his long reach and avoided taking blows in the last two rounds to stay marginally ahead.

“Good that I had a tough start. This weight itself has so many strong boxers and such early challenge will help me in future,” said Abhilash, who trains in Haryana’s boxing hub Bhiwani.

Ankush Dahiya, last edition’s 60kg silver medallist who switched to 63kg, faced some difficulty before taming A. Sudarshan of Chhattisgarh 5-0.

The taller Sudarshan used his reach as he landed blows off counter-attacks. Dahiya dealt with left jabs and combinations to have an upper hand. The Railways boxer maintained the intensity by applying variations in the final round to ward off Sudarshan’s threat.

Nishant Dev, an up-and-coming boxer representing Karnataka, displayed his fine assortment of shots to batter Parlad Singh of Punjab 5-0 in a bout, punctuated by medical breaks and a standing count for the latter.

The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) had to overcome factional tussles in Tamil Nadu and Manipur before finalizing the draws late on Thursday evening. 

A total of 36 bouts were held on the first day at Baddi University of Emerging Sciences and Technology, Himachal Pradesh. More than 300 boxers from 39 teams will participate in the championships.

Other important results (preliminary rounds):

52kg: Siddharth Solanki (Del) bt Mewa Singh (Chd) 5-0; 57kg: P. Appalaraju (AP) bt Rahul Kumar (JK) RSC-R2

60kg: Fahijas Rahman (Ker) bt Santosh Barali (D&D) 3-2; Sahil (Har) bt Varun Phaartyal (Utk) 5-0; Rohit Chavan (Mah) bt Mazhar Hussain (WB) 3-2; Ashish (AIP) bt Ashok Patil (Goa) 5-0

63kg: Yogesh Tokas (Del) bt Bittu Kanwal (Utk) 5-0; Rudhra Pratap (Bih) bt Sahdev Hooda (AIP) 3-2; Jimil Thomas (Ker) bt Apujam Malemnganba (Man) 5-0; Sachin Dalal (Har) bt Subam Gurung (Meg) 5-0; Akash Sangwan (SSCB) bt Tiakumzuk Jamir (Nag) RSC-R3; Rohit Kumar (Chd) bt Chander Mohan (HP) 3-2; Yash Goud (Mah) bt V.Praveen Kumar (Tel) 5-0.

Who is participating? Names to look out for

The fourth edition will witness some of India’s top boxers like World Championships medallist Shiva Thapa (63kg), Asian Championships silver medallist and local boy Ashish Kumar (75kg), World Youth champion Sachin Siwach (57kg), Makran Cup bronze medallist Rohit Tokas (75 kg) and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin (57kg).

Teams from Ladakh and Andaman & Nicobar will participate for the first time, reflecting the Boxing Federation of India’s (BFI) efforts to promote boxing throughout the country.

The boxers who were part of India’s World Championships team, including the likes of Amit Panghal and Manish Kaushik, will not be seen action.

Categories of the competition

The pugilists will compete in all the ten weight categories - 49kg, 52kg, 57kg, 60kg, 63kg, 69kg, 75 kg, 81kg, 91kg and +91kg.

Timeline of the Championship

The preliminary bouts will be held on the first four days followed by the knockout stage starting from October 8. The finals will be held on October 10.

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