Guwahati: Local favourites Shiva Thapa (60kg) and Laishram Devendro Singh (52kg) registered contrasting wins to storm into the finals of their respective weight categories at the ongoing Senior Boxing National Championship here on Monday.
Representing Assam, Shiva battled a serious injury on his forehead to outbox Punjab’s Vijay Kumar by a 5-0 unanimous decision in a close semi-final contest in the Lightweight category at the Sarusajai Indoor Stadium.
The 23-year-old Shiva, who was allegedly head-butted during his quarter-final encounter by his opponent Ashok from the All India Police (AIP) on Sunday, however, did not let his injury hamper his game on Monday.
After completely dominating the first round, the Asian Games gold medallist quickly gained the upper hand in the second round by flooring his opponent before the Punjab boxer managed to retaliate to some extent.
Throughout the bout, Vijay focussed on Shiva’s forehead but the Assamese boxer smartly managed to keep himself out of his opponent’s range.
In the final three minutes, Shiva counter-attacked with a volley of punches before flooring Vijay once again as the referees wasted no time in delivering a 5-0 unanimous verdict in favour of the World Championships bronze-medallist.
“It was a tough bout, semi-finals can never be easy at any tournament. But today, at the same time, I had to save myself from being hit on my forehead which my opponent was targetting,” Shiva told IANS after his bout.
“Satisfied with today’s performance, but I have to stay focussed for the final tomorrow and also take care of my injury. Hopefully it turns out to be an exciting contest.”
The two-time Olympian will now take on Haryana’s Ankush, who beat Vikas Malik of the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) by an unanimous 5-0 verdict.
Accusing his Sunday’s opponent Ashok of “intentionally” hurting him during the quarter-final bout, Shiva said: “He played a dirty game. It was beyond the spirit of the game.”
Meanwhile, another crowd puller in the North East, Manipur-born Devendro had to overcome some anxious moments in the ring before beating Maharashtra pugilist Anata Chopre 3-2 in their Flyweight category semi-final tie.
The diminutive 24-year-old will now take on Chandigarh’s Deepak Singh in the final on Tuesday.
In the Light Flyweight (49kg) category, RSPB’s Shayam Kumar emerged too powerful for Maharashtra’s Akshay, as the referees ruled the tie 5-0 in favour of Kumar after the first round.
Kumar will now take on Haryana’s Amit, who entered the final after a walkover from Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) boxer Bahadur Rana.
In the Bantamweight (56kg) category, SSCB’s Md. Hussamuddin outplayed Uttarakhand’s Sheran Sandhu 5-0 to set up a summit clash against Haryana’s Akshay, who overcame a close fight 4-1 from Andhra Pradesh’s Gidi Venkta.
In the Light Welterweight (64kg) category, RSPB boxer Rohit edged 3-2 past Sandeep from the All India Police squad.
In the final, Rohit will face SSCB’s Thomans Meitei who thrashed Manipur’s Roshan Singh 5-0 in their semi-final bout.