National Boxing: Shiva Thapa in semis

Shiva Thapa dished out a perfect blend of skill, power and precision to outpunch crowd favourite V. Durga Rao of Andhra Pradesh in the light weight category (60kg) quarterfinal.

Fancied Shiva Thapa of Assam won the bout against local favourite Durga at the Elite National Boxing Championship in Visakhapatnam on Saturday.   -  C.V. Subrahmanyam


Three-time Asian championship medallist, Shiva Thapa of Assam, dished out a perfect blend of skill, power and precision to outpunch crowd favourite V. Durga Rao of Andhra Pradesh in the light weight category (60kg) quarterfinal of the second Elite men’s national boxing championship at the Swarna Bharati Indoor Stadium here on Saturday.

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Though Durga Rao was aggressive from the word go, it was increasingly becoming clear that he was throwing his punches more in the air, making the cardinal error of unleashing them when the seasoned opponent was actually swaying away to safety.

Consequently, it was the tight defence coupled with some power-packed punches by Shiva Thapa which saw him emerge winner on points (5-0) to the dismay of the vociferous crowd.

In fact, Durga Rao stayed put in the ring at the end even as the team officials protested against the verdict of the jury. And, interestingly, it was the AP boxer who was taken out in a ‘victory’ lap despite finishing a loser to the delight of his fans.

In a major upset of the day, Dheeraj Kumar of Services stunned the fancied Rohit Tokas of Railways on points (4-1) in the light welter weight category (64 kg) quarterfinal.

A dominant Dheeraj was too good for the fancied opponent who was on the defensive as the bout progressed and more so after suffering a cut below the right eye which also required medical attention. Though a spirited Tokas continued the battle, it was apparent that he was under pressure in the face of a series of a perfect combination of left and right hooks from Dheeraj who was a deserving winner.

Former Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Manoj Kumar, demolished the challenge of Pawan of Haryana with his powerful left-hooks to earn a 5-0 verdict on points in a welter weight quarterfinal bout. Though the response was pretty good in the first round by Pawan, his opponent showed experience and class to be more superior and landed his punches when it mattered most.

Arjuna Awardee Mandeep Jhangra of Railways brought cheers to his camp hoping to clinch the team title here with a clinical win over Harpal Singh of Services on points (5-0) in the middle weight category (75 kg) quarterfinal. Clearly, his experience and the ability to land the punches at the right time saw Mandeep win the bout though Harpal tried his best in the last two rounds to outsmart the rival.

The results: All quarterfinals:

Light fly: Pardeep Sharma (J & K) bt Neeraj Swami (Dli) 4-1; Nt Lalbiakkima (Miz) bt Harish (Har) 5-0; Vipin Kumar (Chd) bt Ujjwal Sharma (Jhar) 5-0; K. Shyam Kumar (RSPB) bt K. Kranthi (AP) 4-1.

Fly wt: Lal Dinmawia (Miz) bt Bhojraj Singh (UP) 5-0; Chandan Das (Asm) bt Bikash Kharkongor (Meg) 5-0; Salman Shekh (RSPB) bt Vijay Jora (Jhar) 5-0; Vinod Tanwar (Har) bt Deepak (Chd) 5-0.

Bantam wt: Varinder Singh (Pjb) bt Shashikant Yadav (Maha) 5-0; Madan Lal (SSCB) bt M. Romajit (Mnp) 5-0; Sukraj Rai (Skm) bt Taken Ehum (Aru) 5-0; Santosh Harijan (Goa) bt Zonuntluamga (Miz) 5-0.

Lt wt (60kg): Buntee Singh (Dli) bt Vanlalhriatkima (Miz) 5-0; Shiva Thapa (Asm) bt V. Durga Rao (AP) 5-0; Palwinder Singh (Pjb) bt Sunil Chouhan (UP) 3-2; Manish Kaushik (SSCB) bt Ch. Surendra Kumar Singh (Mnp) 5-0.

Lt welter (64kg): Jimil Thomas (Ker) bt Anil Kumar (Bih) 4-1; Basant Thapa (MP) bt Nandan (Kar) 5-0; Ankit Khatana (Har) bt Bittoo Kanwal (Utk) 4-1; Dheeraj Kumar (Ser) bt Rohit Tokas (RSPB) 4-1.

Welter wt: Duryodhan Singh (SSCB) bt Shubham Singh (Chd)5-0; Manish Uikey (MP) bt Tilak Buddha (MEG) 5-0; Manoj Kumar (RSPB) bt Pawan (Har) 5-0; Shubham (Pjb) bt Md. Ismaeel (Dli) 3-2.

Middle wt: Parag Chauhan (Dli) bt L. Amarjit Singh – RSC 3rd round; Mandeep Jhangra (RSPB) bt Harpal Singh (SSCB) 5-0; Anup Chhetri (Meg) bt Sumit Kumar (Utk) 5-0; Vanhlimpuia (Miz) bt Ashish Chodhary (HP) 4-1.

Lt heavy: Neel Kamal (Dli) bt Ajay (Kar) 5-0; Jagat Singh Belal (Utk) bt Parkash Singh (UP) – RSC 2nd round; Brijesh Yadav (Raj) w\o M. Lalrinhiua (Miz); Manish Panwar (RSPB) bt Shankar (Chd) 5-0.

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