As Indian glove women stake their claim for an Olympic berth and the World title at the 7th AIBA World Women Boxing Championships in China, budding stars of Indian boxing took to the rings at the 45th Junior Men National Boxing Championship, looking to assert their dominance in the national arena. The tournament scheduled to be held from 12th – 16th May 2012 at the Indoor sports complex of Punjabi University, Patiala, will be home to some spectacular action as young aspirants of men’s boxing battle it out for the coveted ‘Junior National Title’. The five day event, that got under way on Saturday (12 May 2012), is being organised by the Punjab State Boxing Association under the aegis of the Indian Amateur Boxing Federation. The goal of IABF has been to forge a platform that cultivates a highly competitive spirit in the junior athletes and ushers them into the next level of the sport, be it at the national or the international arena.
Arjuna awardee Jaipal Singh, the Secretary General of Punjab State Boxing Association believes that the competition will offer some high quality boxing along with a bundle of fresh talent. He added, “The Junior National Championships play a significant role in the professional development of a boxer; this is where talent is first recognised. Especially at this level of the sport the competition provides good exposure and a great opportunity for young boxers to make a mark at the national circuit”.
The championship kicked off with some high flying action in the light fly weight division. Bronze medal winners from last year’s ‘Junior Nationals’ Lakhminandan Chutia of Assam and R Pramod of Chhattisgarh put up a brilliant show, right at the beginning of the event. Pramod, with some heavy punching and precise attacks took a two point lead after the first round (4:2). Lakhminandan though, was close on his heels and kept coming back with his solid infighting, but the Chhattisgarh boxer held the advantage and managed to edge past his opponent with a score of 10:7. Andhra boxer K Sagar gave a sterling performance as he took on local lad Honey in his opening bout. Sagar, a former sub-junior national champion and a silver medallist at the Youth National Championships last year faced some tough opposition from the Punjab boxer and was down a six point deficit after the first two rounds of play. But the 18 year old made a strong came back in the final round to take the game away from Honey. He scored 9 points as opposed to his opponents 3 points to win on count back, after the score was tied at 14 all.
In the same weight category, three time sub-junior national champion and reigning junior national champion PL Prasad of SSCB made little work M Prasad from Karnataka. Prasad, who lost in the quarter-finals of the Junior World Boxing Championships in Kazakhstan last year was in top form as he devoured the Karnataka boxer with a flurry of punches. The services boxer advanced to the next round with an emphatic victory on points (15:2).
In the fly weight division A. Silambarasan of Tamil Nadu completely outclassed Rahul Rametri from Goa. A silver medal winner at the 2011 Junior Men National Championships, Silambarasan was leading 18:5 in the final round when the referee decided to stop the contest and hand victory to the Tamilnad boxer. Delhi State Champion Onesh Tokas overpowered former sub-junior National Champion Sandeep Duggal in a riveting contest. Both boxers game a good account of themselves, but in the end it was Tokas who triumphed with a score of 13:11.