Top stars shine at boxing nationals

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VISAKHAPATNAM : Indias top boxers Shiva Thapa, Mandeep Jangra and Manoj Kumar lived up to their billing and breezed into the finals of their respective weight categories at the 2nd Elite Mens National Boxing Championship at the Swarna Bharati Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.

 

Assam's Shiva Thapa, who is on course for his third national championship crown, will take on Palwinder Singh of Punjab in the finals of the lightweight (60 kg) category while Manoj will face Duryodhan Singh of SSCB in the welterweight (69kg) final.

Shiva, the 2015 World Championship bronze medalist, continued his imperious run to wallop Buntee Singh of Delhi 5-0. Palwinder Singh proved that he won't be a pushover as he tamed Manish Kaushik of Services 5-0.

Railway's Manoj Kumar routed Shubham 5-0 to move a step closer to his fourth national championship title.

"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, but 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 admitted that his final opponent Duryodhan, who swept past Manish Uikey of Madhya Pradesh with a similar 5-0 margin, may 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." 

In a late evening fixture, Mandeep Jangra of Railways beat Parag Chauhan 5-0 to punch his way into the finals in the middleweight (75kg) category. He will now face Vanhlimpuia of Mizoram, who beat Anup Chhetri of Meghalaya 5-0.

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