National Boxing Championship - Madan overpowers Santosh in semi-finals
The penultimate round of the 59th Sahara Senior Men’s National Boxing Championship and the cream of boxing talent in India displayed a lot heart as they staked a claim for the coveted ‘National Champion’ title. The premier national event which is being sponsored by Sahara India also finds able corporate support from the Indian Boxing Team kit sponsors Monnet Ispat and Energy limited. The fight for the overall title is once against between defending champions Railways and last year’s runners up the Services team. The two boxing power house factions once again asserted their dominance in the domestic arena of the sport with 5 boxers qualifying for the finals for each squad. The Services had a 100 percent record with all five semi-finalists’ advancing into the championship round. The railways though, suffered setbacks in the heavy weight and the middle weight category.
After four days of high octane pugilism, day 5 at the Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium in Hyderabad witnessed another mouth watering display of agility and skill. In one of the most anticipated bouts of the day, Services boxer Madan Lal took on Santosh Harijan of Goa in the fly weight division. Lal, unlike his usual self, decided to let his opponent make the first move, knowing that Harijan is strong a strong counter attacker. The tactics paid off, putting the Goan boxer on the back foot. Almost every time Harijan charged in, Lal got the better of him with some swift combinations, doing the most damage in the second round. Santosh tried hard to get back in the game in the final three minutes of play, but Madan was up to the task. In the end the services fighter went on to make his place in the finals of the championship with a comprehensive 15-9 win on points. He now takes on Delhi boxer Gaurav Bidhuri, who beat Mahminathan of Karnataka in what was a spirited contest.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Amandeep Singh of the Railways and 2009 Asian Championship gold medallist Nanao Singh of the Services team continued to power through their respective opposition en route to the light fly weight finals. Amandeep defeated a feisty Naveen Kumar from Haryana with Nanao also having to work hard against Pankaj Saini of Punjab. The two boxers will now lock horns against each other for the third time on Sunday.
In the welter weight division, Railways boxer and multiple national champion Dlibagh Singh continued his purple patch, registering an easy victory over Manish Uikey of Madhya Pradesh. The 31 year old displayed his mastery of the craft, never allowing Uikey many scoring opportunities. He was leading 11-4 in the third round, when the referee decided to stop the contest and award Dilbagh the win. He will battle against Sukhdeep Singh of Punjab for record tenth national championship title. His teammate Kuldeep Singh though had a bad day at office coming out on the losing end of his semi-final bout against Jaideep of the Services team. The former two time national champion was completely out of sorts and the Services boxer took complete advantage, taking an early three point lead. In the end Kuldeep had to settle for a bronze medal finish with a 12-19 loss. In the heavy weight category, Manpreet Singh of SSCB had to dig deep against Jasveer Singh of the Railways. A silver medallist at the 2010 Asian Games, Manpreet put his experience to good use against some heavy hitting from Jasveer. He went on to make a place in the finals with a 15-14 win on points.