It was a race for the overall title at the inaugural edition of the Dr BR Ambedkar All Indian Men’s Boxing Tournament at Visakhapatnam, AP in the championship round on Sunday (12 Aug 2012). Haryana, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh all had four boxers each making it to the finals of the championship, but in the end it was the boxing power house state of Haryana that emerged triumphant with 3 gold medals, 1 silver and a bronze. Delhi finished second with 1 gold medal, 3 silver medals and a bronze.
The opening bout of the day – the summit clash of the light fly weight division – and the two North Indian states clashed in the form of reigning Haryana State Champion Amit Panghal and former Delhi Junior Champion Amit Kumar Srivastava. Both the boxers started slow in the opening round, looking to measure each other. Srivastava managed to take a crucial one point lead at the end of the round, but Panghal came back strongly in the second. With the help of some brilliant combinations he took the lead at 4-3. In the final round both the fighters came out all guns blazing, looking to gain the advantage. In the end though, it was the Haryana lad who clinched his first national gold medal on the senior tour with a 10-8 victory on points.
In the super heavy weight bout, Naveen Kumar also had to dig deep against Gurpreet Singh of Delhi. Kumar the reigning Inter-Zonal Champion was down a two point deficit after the opening round but made a stunning recovery in the second to win the round 6 point to 5. He further stretched the advantage in the final round, with some heavy hitting Naveen easily penetrated the shell guard of the Delhi boxer. He finally won the gold medal on points 16:13. In stark contrast to his state mates Malkhan Singh barely broke a sweat to win the gold. The former junior national champion registered an easy victory over K. Hareesh of host state to win the light weight title 17-6.
Haryana looking to make it four out of four suffered a setback in the bantam weight class. 2011 Youth National gold medallist Ajay Kumar, up against Vishwanath Naik of the Services, was leading 8-6 after the first two rounds. In the final round Kumar faced some tough opposition from the Services boxer, who equalled the scores at 13 all after winning the round 7:5. Kumar had to settle for a silver medal finish after Naik was declared the winner on count back (37-33).
In the finals of the fly weight division, local lad and reigning youth national champion V Bala Krishan also claimed his first national gold medal at the senior level with a hard fought victory over Govind Singh of the Services team. Krishan, who had a four point advantage after the opening round (7-3), lost the second round 3-5 to some great infighting by Singh who won the bronze medal at the Senior Nationals last year. But the Andhra boxer managed to win the final round and the title with an overall score of 14-11.