National Boxing C'ships: Promising debut for 18-year-old Ajay Pendor, Krushanvir beats Arun Verma

After receiving deep cuts on both his eyebrows in the second round, a change in strategy helped the Maharashtra boy effect an impressive upset.

Krushanvir Singh’s (L) attacking ploy unnerved Arun Verma.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Ajay Pendor made a bright start to his debut in the National boxing championships by upsetting experienced hand Govind Kumar Sahani in a 49kg first round bout at the Baddi University of Emerging Sciences and Technology here on Saturday.

Pendor, a three-time gold medal winner in School National Games and a silver medallist in Khelo India Games, showed his tenacity to win the close fight with a 3-0 verdict.

While Sahani, representing Nagaland, boxed aggressively, 18-year-old Pendor showed his steely resolve. The tribal boy from Akola, Maharashtra, changed his game plan after receiving deep cuts on both his eyebrows in the second round. He boxed from a distance and scored through combination of three punches.

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“I had doubts before the start of the bout, but my fear went away once I entered the ring. I had to adapt as per the requirement. I am happy to have overcome a big hurdle in the first round,” said Pendor.

In another interesting 49kg bout, Krushanvir Singh, a Haryana origin boxer from Daman and Diu, showcased his superb attacking game to beat Arun Verma of Haryana through ‘disqualification.’

Krushanvir’s flurry of punches baffled Verma, who dropped his teeth guard five times including thrice in the second round. The referee penalized Verma after he dropped the teeth guard in the third round and awarded the bout to Krushanvir.

“My weight was 78kg when I started boxing in 2015 to lose weight. I began in 75kg before coming down to 49kg. Because of too much of weight loss, I receive a lot of cuts. This is the first time I have won against a boxer from Punjab or Haryana,” said 20-year-old Krushanvir.

Raja Simha of Karnataka went down fighting 5-0 against Ashish Insha of Railways in a fascinating 52kg contest.

Other important results (preliminary rounds):

49kg: Vinod Tanwar (SSCB) bt Heli Tana Tara (Aru) 5-0; Sonu Dhull (RSPB) bt Kakarla Govind (AP) 5-0; Vipin Kumar (Chd) bt Shiv Kant (Pun) 3-2; Amrit Lal Satnami (MP) bt Rishi Kumar (Raj) 3-0; Suraj Soy (Jha) bt Mohd. Zaheed (Tel) 4-1

52kg: Parshotam (Har) bt Amal Uday (Ker) 5-0; Rahul Niltu (HP) bt G.Vamsi (AP) 5-0; P.L. Prasad (SSCB) bt Shanborlang Marbaniang (Meg) 5-0; Manish Sahu (Cht) bt Ravi Yadav (Raj) 3-2

91kg: Naman Tanwar (RSPB) bt Ashish Bhandor (HP) 5-0; Sumit Sangwan (Har) bt Rizwan Ahmed (Guj) RSC-R1.

+91kg: Naveen (Har) bt Reynold Joseph (Mah) 5-0.