Indian boxing’s revival is underway in full swing. After two years of uncertainty over their future, Indian men took to the ring in the 6oth National Championship in Nagpur. It was the first time that the National Championship was held under the flag of the recently christened Boxing India. After great success of the First Monnet National Steel Elite Women’s Championship that was held last year, the Men’s National Boxing Championship proved to be a huge success as well.
Boxers Turn Up In Large Numbers
Boxers had definitely been anticipating this for a long time. Now that the event was finally underway, boxers registered to compete in a large number. Over 235 boxers from the 34 BI affiliated units and 3 boards were in contention for the title in seven weight categories. It was not only the title that was up for grabs. The National Boxing Championship also served as qualification for National Games starting January 31 in Kerala.
Superstars skip event
While the enthusiasm was evident in all boxers, some big names remained absent. Olympic bronze-medalist Vijender Singh chose to skip the event while Asian Champion Shiva Thapa was on a sick leave as well. Another big name missing from the tournament was senior Pro Akhil Kumar while Devendro Singh and Gaurav Bidhuri were sparring it out at the World Series of Boxing.
In their absence, the spotlight was put on Olympians Manoj Kumar and Sumit Sangwan. Glasgow Commonwealth games’ Silver medalist Mandeep Jangra was also boxing for the title in the welterweight category.
The first Monnet National Steel Elite Men’s National Boxing Championship lived up to expectations. It provided a platform for young boxers to showcase their talents. Big highlights of the tournament include impressive performance by Govind Thapa. It was the first national championship title for the Assamese army man.
Mandeep Jangra suffered a shock defeat on the third day of the tournament. He was outclassed by Manjit Kumar of Orissa 2-1. After a promising performance on day two, Youth Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Durga Rao was delivered a TKO defeat on by Asad Asif of West bengal.
It went as planned for Sumit Sangwan and Satish Kumar. Both boxers maintained their focus through 7 days of the tournament and bagged gold.
Light Flyweight (46kg-49kg): P L Prashad (KAR) beat Salman Shaikh (Railways).
Flyweight (52kg): Amandeep (RSPB) beat Yogindera (ODI)
Bantamweight (56kg): Sunil (HAR) beat Asad Asif (WB)
Lightweight (60kg): Manjeet Kumar (SSCB) beat Manish (HAR)
Light Welterweight (64kg): Duryodhan Singh (SSCB) beat M Thomas (MAN)
Welterweight (69kg): Rakesh (HAR) beat Manjeet Kumar (ODI)
Middleweight (75kg): Harpal Singh (J&K) beat Sukdeep Singh (RSPB)
Light Heavyweight (81kg): Sumit Sangwan (HAR) beat Geetanand (HP)
Heavyweight (91kg): Manpreet Singh (MEG) beat Mahendra Negi (SIK)
Super Heavyweight (+91kg): Satish Kumar (SSCB) beat Arun (SIK).
Summary: Haryana Continues Dominance
Haryana continued its dominance over the boxing arena. Even without Vijender Singh, Haryana bagged the Champions Trophy. Haryana boxers clinched four golds to finish on top of the table with 40 points.
P L Prashad of Karnataka was adjudged Most Promising Boxer. It was also great to see Manipuri boxers continue to mark their presence on the boxing scenario. M Thomas of Manipur was awarded the title of Best Challenger Boxer.