Indian Tigers qualify for WSB playoffs despite loss to China Dragons
Guizhou (China), Apr 27 (PTI) Indian Tigers lost their final group C tie 2-3 to China Dragons but advanced to the World Series of Boxing's playoffs in their debut season after finishing seventh in the overall standings.
Asian youth silver-medallist Ankush Dahiya (60kg) and Salman Shaikh (52kg) were the ones to record victories for India as the franchise, which is owned by the Boxing Federation of India, made the playoffs.
The team is likely to face second-placed France Fighting Roosters in the quarterfinals, the schedule for which is not yet out.
The Indians, who enjoyed their best result of the season last week by beating Russia and China on home turf, gave a decent account of themselves even today.
Salman, a bronze-medallist at the India Open, rallied to beat He Jun Jun 2-1 in a draining contest. The Indian lost the opening round but came back strongly to clinch a split verdict in his favour.
Ankush, a gold-medallist at the Ulaanbaatar Cup in Mongolia last year, als endured a tough contest before picking up a victory on split decision against Wu Yufeng.
However, the Indian team lost its footing in the heavier weights as Dinesh Dagar (69kg), Devanshu Jaiswal (81kg) and Parveen Kumar (+91kg) lost their respective bouts.
While Dinesh was beaten by Haishaer Taximaimaiti, Devanshu went down to Jilei Zhang. Parveen lost to Aihemaiti Maimaiti. All the three results were unanimous verdicts.
India finished third in their group behind defending Astana Arlans of Kazakhstan and Russia's Patriot Boxing Team. India loged eight points from six clashes.
The top two teams from each group and the two strongest third-placed teams qualified for the playoffs, which assume the format of four quarter-finals, two semi-finals, and the grand final.
All the three third-placed teams in the Group A, B and C were tied on the number of wins but India qualified seventh for the quarters owing to a better record in the individual wins recorded by the country's boxers. The Indian Tigers' boxers claimed 13 wins against 17 losses overall.
The boxers compete across five rounds, scored using the 10 Points Must system.
WSB boxers accounted for 23 Olympic medals at the Rio 2016 Games, including six gold.