Guwahati boxer Shiva Thapa topples No. 1 to reach final

In the 64kg semifinals, continuing his brilliant form of the tournament Shiva Thapa ensured his third final appearance at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai as he sent top-seeded Bakhodur Usmonov of Tajikistan packing with 4-0 win.

The defending champion Amit Panghal punched his way into the men’s 52kg final.

Thapa who hails from Guwahati has already secured a record fifth consecutive medal of the Championships. He now will take on the reigning Asian Games silver medallist Mongolia’s Baatarsukh Chinzorig in the final.

Panghal will square off against the Rio Olympics and World Champion Zoirov Shakhobidin of Uzbekistan in the gold medal match on Monday.

During an intense battle between World Championships silver medallist Panghal and bronze medallist Bibossinov, the Indian made a cautious start and tried to keep a distance from the opponent. He looked more aggressive later in the second round and hit some clean punches to put pressure on Bibossinov. Panghal carried on the momentum throughout the match and stamped his authority over Kazakh boxer to secure a commanding 5-0 win.

https://twitter.com/BFI_official/status/1398316932793716742?s=20

Meanwhile, playing in the 69kg semifinals, Vikas Krishan put up a courageous effort despite being hit above the eye. Vikas had sustained a cut above his eye in the previous bout and unfortunately, that cut opened up again. The Doctor examined the cut and stopped the bout in the third minute of the first round. However, on the basis of points scored till then, Vikas lost against Uzbekistan’s Baturov Bobo-Usmon with a split verdict. On the other hand, Varinder Singh also couldn’t manage to get past Irani pugilist Daniyal Shahbakhsh as he conceded a narrow 2-3 defeat in the 60kg semi-final.

On Friday six-time World Champion Mary Kom (51kg) alongside three more Indian women pugilists—Pooja Rani (75kg), Anupama (+81kg) and Lalbuatsahi (64kg)—progressed into the finals. The defending champion Pooja received a walk-over against Mongolia’s Munkhbat. While in the other last-4 bouts played late on Friday night, Lalbuatsaihi was declared the winner after her opponents from Kuwait Noura Almutairi abandoned the bout in the second round following the Indian’s relentless attack. Anupama (+81+kg) also emerged victorious against Mokhira Abdullaeva of Uzbekistan.

India is now assured of at least six silver medals with four women already making their way into the finals earlier on Thursday at the prestigious event which is jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation. With 15 medals confirmed, Indian contingent also achieved their highest medal haul, surpassing the previous best of 13 (2 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze) from the 2019 edition in Bangkok.

Another Assam boxer Lovlina Borgohain, who started her campaign from the semifinal, lost her bout. Thus she will get a bronze.

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