Indian boxer Deepak Bhoria triumphs over Martin Molina in IBA Champions' Night showdown

Deepak Bhoria in action (Image Courtesy: BFI)
Deepak Bhoria in action (Image Courtesy: BFI)

Deepak Bhoria, the world championship medalist boxer, made an appearance at the IBA Champions' Night in Madrid, Spain on Sunday, May 4. He emerged victorious against fellow world championship medalist Martin Molina of Spain. IBA Champions' Night is hosted by the International Boxing Association (IBA) and serves as the organization's premier professional event.

The event structure mirrors that of a typical boxing promotion, featuring several main events and under-card matches. Main events consist of either eight or ten rounds lasting three minutes each, while the under-card events typically have six rounds of three minutes each.

Bhoria missed securing a quota for the Paris Olympics in the initial qualifiers and was replaced by Amit Panghal in the Indian squad for the subsequent qualifiers. He participated in the event in the 51 kg weight category. Facing a familiar opponent, local boxer Molina, Bhoria showcased his full range of shots, leaving no stone unturned in his performance.

Bhoria utilized his height advantage to his benefit, initiating the match strongly with his left hooks as Martin Molina assessed his opponent. He skillfully executed various combinations to catch Martin off guard.

Deepak Bhoria’s tactical triumph despite exhaustion

After a strong start in the first round, Deepak Bhoria proceeded to dominate the following two rounds, putting Martin Molina on the defensive. However, Bhoria faced exhaustion in the fourth round due to his usual experience of competing in three-round matches at the international level.

However, the 26-year-old remained composed throughout the final two rounds, demonstrating his experience and strategic prowess to secure victory. He was rightfully declared the winner by a split decision from the judges.

Last year, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially removed the International Boxing Association (IBA) as the governing body for boxing due to its failure to implement necessary reforms. The IBA's appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport was rejected, leading to the IOC overseeing boxing events for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Edited by Tejas Rathi
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