Youngster Akash Sangwan stunned Ankush Dahiya 3-2 in a neck-and-neck contest to advance to the 63kg final of the National boxing championships at the Baddi University of Emerging Sciences and Technology here on Wednesday.

In a thrilling semifinal bout, Services’ Sangwan rode on his raw power to get past Dahiya, a silver medallist in 60kg last year, and set up a title clash with World championships bronze medallist Shiva Thapa.

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Southpaw Sangwan grabbed early advantage by landing some hard punches on Dahiya and dominating the first round. Dahiya, a Railways boxer with good all-round game, reworked his strategy to deliver some body shots while moving in and out, but got a few on his face. He improved his foot work and tackled Sangwan better in the final round, but came up short despite his effort. Railways lodged a protest against the decision but it was rejected following the due procedure.

Vinod Tanwar of Services pipped Sonu Dhull of Railways 3-2 in a closely-fought 49kg duel between two talented southpaws. Dhull, a technically-sound pugilist, got carried away in the opening round and received some lusty punches from Tanwar. Dhull recovered by landing some clear shots from a distance, but could not do enough to stop the compact and quick-punching Tanwar.

Olympian Sumit Sangwan survived two standing counts in the first round to walk away with a 4-1 verdict in his favour against Services’ Gaurav Chauhan in a 91kg bout, featuring exchange of heavy blows.