Youngster Shiva Thapa added another feather to his cap beating Sri Lanka’s Ruwan Thilina to the gold medal in the bantam weight category. L Devendro Singh had a stiff resistance from Pakistan’s Mohib Ulla but eventually emerged victorious 2-1 in the light fly (46-49 kg) category.
Madan Lal beat Pakistan’s Syed Md Asif 3-0 in the fly (52 kg) category. Dheeraj overcame Pakistan’s Ahmed Ali in the light (60 kg) category, while Manoj Kumar got the better of Sri Lanka’s D Suparamadu 3-0 in the light welter category. Mandeep Jangra tamed Afghanistan’s Rahemi Alla Dad in the welter (69 kg) category, while Vikas Krishan (75 kg) signed off in style beating Pakistan’s Ahmed Tanveer in a unanimous 3-0 decision.
There was no surprise in store at the NEHU, SAI Special Area Games for there was no stopping to India’s gold rush. However, a couple of rival boxers did create the occasional jittery for the Indian fans.
Shiva Thapa faced an aggressive Lankan opponent Ruwan Thilina who looked to take the attack to the Indian. Shiva made a flawless start with a left jab and a straight punch setting the tempo for the bout. The reigning Asian champion was, however, pushed to the defensive by his opponent looking to force headbutts in the second round. A right upper cut and a flurry of punches pushed the Lankan rival back as Thapa sailed to the gold with a 3-0 unanimous decision.
It was a good challenge said Thapa who was elated at winning the gold at the SAG which was “by no means easy.”
Earlier, L Devendro Singh had a stiff challenge from Pakistan’s Mohib Ulla, who came back well in the second round to resist the Indian’s onslaught. Devendro won by a 2-1 split decision.
Meanwhile, Dheeraj had a tough time taming Pakistan’s Ahmed Ali in the final of the light weight category.
Ali looked quicker of the two in round 1 and used his height to the advantage. It was an intense round 2 which saw both boxers exchange a flurry of punches besides a sharp right jab by Ali buoyed the Pakistan contingent on the stands. Dheeraj, however, took control in round 3. The Indian eventually won by a split decision of 2-1.
Up against the mighty Afghan Rahemi Alla Dad, Mandeep Jangra had to be on the defensive with the rival swinging blows all along. An upper cut and a right hook in round 2 asserted Mandeep’s dominance of the bout. The Afghan was not ready to yield easy and retaliated with a left jab. In what was a visibly close contest, Rahemi went down 0-3 by unanimous decision.
“He was a tough opponent, it was a good fight in the end,” Mandeep admitted after the bout.
A half fit Vikas Krishan, who has been suffering from a light fever for the last three days, made light work of Pakistan’s Ahmed Tanveer to sign off things in style for India.
With the men living up to their expectations the onus would now be on the Indian women to get India a perfect 10 on Tuesday.