Shillong (Meghalaya), Nov 30: After six intense days in the ring, the 26 best fighters have booked their places in the finals of the 7th Elite Men’s National Boxing Championship, which will be held at the SAI Indoor Hall here tomorrow.
There have been nearly 400 bouts so far across six days in 13 weight classes, with today dedicated to the semifinal contests. The boxers, so close to their dream of gold, laid it all on the line in their fight for ultimate glory and a shot at the Olympic qualifiers.
Services’ Amit Panghal, the 2019 World Championships silver medalist, won his flyweight 48-51kg against Ankit of Railways. However, the tough bout did not go all the experienced campaigner’s way, as the judges awarded him the win by a 5-2 margin, with the straight-faced boxer giving the merest hint of a smile when the referee raised his arm to signal victory.
There was no such trouble for Assam’s Shiva Thapa, the six-time Asian Championships medallist, who won his light welterweight 60-63.5kg category fight 5-0 against Harivansh Tawari of Maharashtra.
Up and coming pugilist Harsh Choudhary of Rajasthan also progressed, 4-1, in the light heavyweight 75-80kg class, over Delhi’s Harsh Lakra.
The final bouts of the day were in the heavyweight 86-92kg and super heavyweight 92kg-plus categories where boxers built like Arjun tanks slugged it out. Among these, Sanjeet, the 2021 Asian Champion, of Services won in the heavyweight class by unanimous decision of the judges against the taller Vicky of All India Police.
Railways’ Sagar, the 2022 Commonwealth Games silver medalist and a super heavyweight, then pounded Vishal Kumar of Delhi, taking the bout 5-0.
The championship is being organised by the Meghalaya Boxing Association in collaboration with the Boxing Federation of India and sponsored by the Department of Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of Meghalaya.