Internet Desk: Commonwealth Games silver-medallist L Devendro Singh (52kg) suffered a shock loss to settle for the silver medal but World bronze-medallist Shiva Thapa prevailed in a slightly ill-tempered final clash to pick up his first lightweight (60kg) National Championships gold medal on Tuesday.
The overall title went to the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB), who ended with four gold, one silver and three bronze medals. The Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) finished second with two gold, two silver and two bronze medals.
Shiva, fighting with a bruised forehead after being head-butted in the quarterfinals, was aggression personified as he overpowered Haryana’s Asian Youth silver-medallist Ankush Dahiya 5-0.
Shiva protected his injured forehead but did not lack in ferocity to outpunch the spirited but wayward Haryana teen and pick up the only gold medal for Assam in the Championships.
With Ankush continuously targeting Shiva’s wound, the Assam boxer pumped up the aggression in the second round resulting in a furious exchange. Ankush did not back down either making it a high-voltage showdown which had the crowd on its feet.
However, Devendro, a two-time Olympian and an Asian Championships silver-medallist as well, lost 0-5 to Chandigarh greenhorn Deepak Singh, who was competing in his maiden National Championships.
“There was slight pressure on me because the bout was against Devendro but I was confident about the hard work I had put in my training. I started boxing as a 12-year-old and this is my first national championships. Previously I have won a gold medal in the Inter-University Championships,” said the 20-year-old Deepak after causing perhaps the biggest upset of the day.
Looking sluggish and far from hundred per cent on the fitness front, Devendro was simply outpunched by the sprightly youngster from the Union Territory which had just one gold to show from the previous Nationals.
Devendro’s trademark tempo boxing found its match in Deepak and all his attempted attacks were cleverly dodged by the new kid on the block.
“Winning and losing is part of sport, it’s ok, I will see what went wrong in the bout and will work on my weaknesses but I will stay in flyweight. I am not particularly happy with my fitness levels, as of now it’s not even 80 per cent. But I will bounce back, I am not the one to get bogged down by setbacks,” said the effervescent Manipuri, who had recovered from an ankle injury just before the Championships.
In a fine sporting gesture, Devendro happily posed for pictures with his 20-year-old rival after the bout and patted him on the back for a spirited performance.
The welterweight title went expectedly to former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar (RSPB). However, it was no stroll in the park for him today and he was pushed hard by SSCB’s Duryodhan Singh before the judges ruled 4-1 in his favour.
“I am quite satisfied with how I have performed and I am going to stick to welterweight till Tokyo 2020 Olympics. My opponent deserves applause for the fight he put on but I also had a point to prove and I am glad I did it,” Manoj said.
There was another upset, in the light flyweight category, where former Asian Youth bronze-medallist K Shyam Kumar was stunned by Haryana’s Amit.
“I made a few mistakes in the opening round, which probably cost me. Still I thought I should have won the bout,” said shy Andhra Pradesh boxer.
The light welterweight title went to SSCB’s Thomas Meitei after he scored a hard-fought 3-2 triumph over RSPB’s Rohit Tokas in the summit clash.
In the light heavyweight category, another impressive greenhorn made an impression in Manish Panwar (RSPB). Manish won his maiden gold medal beating Madhya Pradesh’s Rahul 3-2.
The gold medal winners walked away with cash prizes of Rs 20,000, while the silver-medallists were presented Rs 12,000. The bronze medal winners got Rs 7,000 each.