Railways man Rohit Tokas gained a lot of self-belief after seeing off a hard-hitting Vanhlimpuia in a fascinating 75kg pre-quaterfinals bout of the National boxing championships at the Baddi University of Emerging Sciences and Technology here on Monday.
In his first competition after switching to 75kg, Tokas – the 64kg champion last year – presented a fine harmony of his natural power and smart thinking as he posted a 4-1 victory over Vanhlimpuia, a two-time silver medallist, in one of the three keenly-contested fights between traditional rivals Railways and Services.
Tokas, who needed around three months to regain fitness after suffering a knee injury during the India Open tournament in May, took his time to get a hang of Vanhlimpuia’s game. His beautiful combination of punches, followed by a couple of solid rights on the Navy man’s face, enabled him to be in control in the second round. He maintained an upper hand in the third to put the issue beyond doubt.
Tokas will face home challenger Ashish Kumar, who represented the country in the World championships in Ekaterinburg last month, in the quarterfinals.
“As I did not know about Vanhlimpuia’s game, I used the first round to understand how much power he generates,” said Tokas.
“Hopefully, I will settle in this weight sooner than later. My body weight is around 72-73kg. Others reduce weight to fit into this category, but I don’t need to do that. I have to gain more strength to be more effective.”
Last year’s silver medallist Dinesh Dagar of Railways paid the price for his rush of blood as he got hit by the booming punches of Services’ Naveen Boora early in a 69kg bout and lost 5-0.
Young Services boxer Vinod Tanwar displayed his excellent counterattacks to edge past an experienced Neeraj Swami of Delhi 4-1 in a free-flowing 49kg fight, which was interrupted by a commotion over the late arrival of some medical equipment.
The biggest star of the event, World championships medallist Shiva Thapa, beat Hitesh Kumar of Daman and Diu 5-0 in a 63kg bout.
- India vs England Live Score, 4th Test Day 1: Toss coming up next, playing XI updates; Akash Deep to make debut
- Ranji Trophy Live Score, 2023-24 Quarterfinal: TN vs SAU, VID vs KAR, MP vs AND, MUM vs BAR; Toss updates, live streaming
- Ranji Trophy Highlights, Round 7 Day 4 updates: Karnataka settles for draw with Chandigarh; Kerala draws with Andhra
- Kroos says he’s not Germany’s ‘saviour’ ahead of Euro 2024 return
- AC Milan, Roma, Marseille, Benfica advance to Europa League round of 16