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Men’s Boxing World Championship: Can Akash Kumar become second Indian boxer to enter Worlds final?

Akash Kumar is India's seventh world medallist.
Akash Kumar is India's seventh world medallist.
FEATURED COLUMNIST

For Akash Kumar, the Men’s Boxing World Championship has already become a special one. The 21-year-old pugilist stunned Rio Olympic silver medallist Yoel Finol of Venezuela to confirm a medal for India. Now, he has a chance to become the country’s second boxer after Amit Panghal to enter the Worlds final. He will face Kazakhstan’s Makhmud Sabyrkhan in the 54kg semi-final.

He will look for some stellar showing to enter the final in Belgrade. The Bhiwani-born boxer made his way into the final four after causing one of the most remarkable upsets in the history of the boxing world championship. Akash Kumar crushed Finol to win by a unanimous decision of 5-0.

Akash Kumar had already joined an elite list of Indian pugilists to win a medal at the World Championships.

He is the seventh boxer after Vijender Singh (Bronze, 2009 Milan), Vikas Krishan (Bronze, 2011 Baku), Shiva Thapa (Bronze, 2015 Doha), Gaurav Bidhuri (Bronze, 2017 Hamburg), Amit Panghal (Silver, 2019 Yekaterinburg), and Manish Kaushik (Bronze, 2019 Yekaterinburg).

However, the semi-final clash will not be an easy task for Akash Kumar.

India’s Rohit Mor 🇮🇳 made a fantastic debut at the AIBA World Boxing Championships🥊#aibawchs2021 #boxingaiba.org/blog/indias-ro… https://t.co/dm4lWmNV2T

Sabyrkhan, 20, sealed his spot alongside the Indian after outclassing Brazil’s first quarter-finalist at the Championships, Michael Trinidade.

Akash Kumar is only Indian to win medal so far

While Akash made his way into the last-4 stage, four other Indian boxers (Sanjeet, Narender Berwal, Shiva Thapa and Nishant Dev) ended their campaigns after suffering losses in their respective quarter-finals bout played late on Tuesday night.

Seasoned boxer Shiva Thapa went down to Turkey’s Kerem Oezmen by unanimous margin in the 63.5kg Last-8 match. In another clash, it was yet another quarter-final heartbreak for reigning Asian champion Sanjeet.

The Indian conceded a 0-5 loss against Italy’s Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine after suffering a biceps injury in the first round during the 92kg contest. The last edition of the world championships was in 2019.

Right hand out of nowhere and KO🥊Cruiserweight (86kg)Victor Schelstraete 🇧🇪#AIBAWCHS2021 #boxing https://t.co/OY8AtLqBax

Narender (+92kg) and Nishant (71kg) also lost to Azerbaijan’s Mahammad Abdullayev and Russia’s Vadim Musaev respectively in their quarter-finals.

The on-going prestigious event has witnessed thrilling action between 650 top boxers from more than 100 participating countries from across the world.

The gold medallists of each category will receive $100,000 while silver and bronze medallists will be given $50,000 and $25,000 respectively.

Also read: Boxing Federation of India (BFI) to rejig coaching staff post-Belgrade World Championships


Edited by Diptanil Roy
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