Boxing: Amit Panghal, Shiv Thapa in finals; Vikas Krishan, Varinder fail in semis
Shiva Thapa (64 kg) celebrating after winning his semi-final bout against top-seeded Bakhodur Usmonov of Tajikistan and securing at least a silver medal at the ASBC Asian Championships in Dubai,UAE on May 28, 2021.

Boxing: Amit Panghal, Shiv Thapa in finals; Vikas Krishan, Varinder fail in semis

New Delhi, May 29, 2021

Defending champion Amit Panghal and Olympian Shiv Thapa chalked out impressive wins over their rivals to move into the finals of their respective categories while two other Indians, Vikas Krishan and Varinder Singh, lost their semi-final bouts at the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai on Friday.

In the 52 kg category semi-finals, Panghal out-punched Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov while, in 64 kg, Thapa also ensured his third final appearance at the championship as he shocked top-seeded Bakhodur Usmonov of Tajikistan with a 4-0 win.

It was a tense fight between World Championships silver medalist Panghal and bronze medalist Bibossinov. The Indian opened cautiously, keeping a distance from the opponent. However, in the second round, Amit hit some clean punches to put pressure on Bibossinov.

The Indian maintained the pressure and dominance over the Kazakh to romp home with a commanding 5-0 win.

Panghal will face the Rio Olympics and World Champion Zoirov Shakhobidin of Uzbekistan in the gold medal match on Monday.

Thapa, who has already secured a record fifth consecutive medal in the championships, will fight with the Asian Games silver medalist, Mongolia’s Baatarsukh Chinzorig, in the final.

Meanwhile, in the 69kg semi-finals, Krishan put up a determined fight despite being hit above the eye. The Haryana boxer had sustained a cut above his eye in the previous bout and that cut opened up again.

The doctor examined the cut and stopped the bout in the third minute of first round. However, on the basis of points scored till then, Vikas lost against Uzbekistan's Baturov Bobo-Usmon with a split verdict.

In the 60 kg semi-final, Varinder Singh failed to get past Iran's Daniyal Shahbakhsh and lost narrowly 2-3.

Meanwhile, it was heartbreak for the two-time youth world champion Sakshi Chaudhary, who was initially adjudged as winner in the 54kg but lost her place in the final and had to settle with bronze medal after the opponent Dina Zholaman appealed to review the last round of the bout.

The jury upheld the claim and altered the result in favour of the Kazakh boxer.

Six-time World Champion Mary Kom (51kg) alongside three more Indian women pugilists—Pooja Rani (75kg), Anupama (+81kg) and Lalbuatsahi (64kg)—progressed into the finals.

The defending champion Pooja received a walk-over against Mongolia’s Munkhbat. In the other last-4 bouts played late on Friday night, Lalbuatsaihi was declared winner after her opponent from Kuwait Noura Almutairi abandoned the bout in the second round following the Indian’s relentless attack.

Anupama (+81kg) also emerged victorious against Mokhira Abdullaeva of Uzbekistan.

Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Jaismine (57kg) Monika (48kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Saweety (81kg) are the other women boxers who secured bronze medals after enduring defeats in their respective last-4 clashes.

India is now assured of at least six silver medals with four women already making their way into the finals earlier on Thursday at the event which is jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation.

With 15 medals confirmed, the Indian contingent also achieved their highest medal haul, surpassing the previous best of 13 (2 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze) from the 2019 edition in Bangkok.

The International Boxing Association, AIBA has allocated $ 4,00,000 prize money for the on-going championships. The gold medalists of men’s and women’s categories will be awarded with $ 10,000 while the silver and bronze medal winners will take home $ 5,000 and $ 2,500, respectively.

Final matches of women’s and men’s categories will take place on Sunday and Monday, respectively.

NNN

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