An Arunachal boxer (blue corner) after his victory

As many as eight out of nine home boxers showcased their prowess on the day to make their way into the knockout stages of the 5th Junior Boys National Championships, thus raising hopes for Arunachal Pradesh, which is hosting a national level tournament for the first time ever.

Techi Jacky (46kg), Tarok Gongo (48kg), Loma Riang (50kg), Gayki Rie (52 Kg), Menthok Hodong (54kg), Tagio Liyak (57kg), Tarh Lohia (60kg) and Tangu Ngomle (63kg)registered contrasting victories in the respective pre-quarterfinal bouts of their respective weight classes to advance to the last 16 stages of the tournament.

In the 46kg clash, Jacky outpunched Nagaland’s Nasim Ali to register a 4-1 split decision victory, before Tarok doubled the joy for the home side by recording a one-sided 5-0 UD (unanimous decision) win over Punjab’s Sahil Jethi in the 48kg light flyweight bout. In the 50kg flyweight category pre-quarters, Loma recorded another handsome win over Himachal Pradesh’s Sunny before Gayki Rie outpunched Rajasthan’s Prashant Gurjar to win by 5-0 UD in their 52kg light bantamweight class bout.

In the afternoon session, Nenthok Hodong brought more joy to the home crowd when he defeated M Rithiswar of Tamil Nadu by 5-0 UD margin. Nenthok dominated the proceedings across all three rounds as his opponent hardly had any answers to his jabs and punches. Later in the afternoon, Tagio stormed into the 57kg featherweight category quarterfinals by defeating Md Ashfaq of Telengana by a 4-1 split decision verdict. Both boxers traded punches with equal intensity before Tagio came back with a flurry of jabs to earn the verdict in his favour.

Tarh Lohia made it an eventful evening for the home state by registering a fine 5-0 win in the 60kg lightweight category before Tangu unleashed such fury over Karnataka’s Isa Khan in their 63kg pre-quarterfinal bout that the referees were forced to award the contest in the Arunachal boxer’s favour in the third and final round.

However, there was one setback for the home team towards the later part of the third day’s play as Kabak Raju lost the 70kg pre-quarterfinal bout to Yash Rana of Haryana by 5-0 verdict.

Meanwhile, Haryana’s young pugilists Sikander, Jatin, Yogesh Dhanda and Vansh also registered contrasting victories to march to the last-16 stages. Sikander started the day in the 48kg category against M Manikanda Vishal of Tamil Nadu and looked in control from the first round itself. Vishal had no answers for Sikander’s powerful punches as he secured an easy RSC win in the second round.

Jatin (54kg) showed a similar display of power and precision against Hemanth Kumar of Telangana to cruise into the next round with an RSC third-round win.

Vansh (50kg), who had to push really hard to get the win over Manish Gurjar of Rajasthan on Monday, did not have to lose much sweat as he outpunched Andhra Pradesh’s Navaneeth Gandi.

In the 52kg category, Manipur’s Th Nilbir advanced to the quarterfinals after registering a fine win over Ishan Thakur of Himachal Pradesh.

Assam boys Abhinash Das (54kg) and Bibek Thapa (63kg) also made it to the next stage after registering convincing victories against their respective opponents. While Abhinash got the better of Meghalaya’s Jordan L Nongrang, Bibek knocked out Aryan Jena from Chhattisgarh in the first round.

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