Shiva, Manoj enter finals of National Boxing Championships
Visakhapatnam, Oct 29 (PTI) There was no stopping the favourites as Shiva Thapa and Manoj Kumar stood just one win away from their second successive national boxing titles after advancing to the marquee domestic event's final, here today.
Shiva, a three-time Asian Championships medallist besides being a World Championships bronze-medallist, got the better of Delhi's Buntee Singh 5-0 in his lightweight (60kg) semifinal clash.
He will next be up against Services Sports Control Board's (SSCB) Manish Kaushik, the man he had beaten in the previous edition's quarterfinal. Manish defeated Punjab's Palwinder Singh 5-0 in his last-four stage bout.
Former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj also continued his fine run as he beat Punjab's Shubaham in the welterweight (69kg) semis.
Manoj's summit clash rival would be SSCB's Duryodhan Singh, who defeated Madhya Pradesh's Manish Uikey.
"I am delighted with the win today. I came into the bout with a lot of confidence and I am glad to have made it to the finals," Manoj said after the bout.
Manoj conceded that he had to be cautious against Shubham as he was not aware of his in-ring style.
"I had not fought him before so my preparation was based on the inputs from my coaching staff. But I couldn't be sure how he would be in the ring. So, I decided to keep it simple and attacked on the counter. The plan worked well for me," he added.
Manoj granted that his final opponent Duryodhan could prove to be a handful.
"Duryodhan is a good boxer and will be a very tricky opponent. I have faced him before and I know how good he is. I will have to prepare very well to beat him tomorrow," Manoj explained.
Three-time King's Cup gold-medallist K Shyam Kumar, competing for the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB), also advanced to his second successive Nationals' final after putting it past Chandigarh's Vipin Kumar 5-0.
Shyam Kumar will square off against Mizoram's Nt Lalbiakkima in the final, aiming to better the silver medal he won in the last edition held in Guwahati.
Also advancing to the final was Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Mandeep Jangra, competing in his maiden event in the middleweight (75kg) category. The RSPB boxer defeated Delhi's Parag Chauhan to make the final.