Two Indian boxers, Shiva Thapa and Amit Panghal punched their way to the 2021 Asian Boxing Championship finals, bringing India glory and winning the hearts of millions of Indians.
With an emphatic win over Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov in the last-4 bout in Dubai on Friday, defending champion Amit Panghal pushed his way into the men's 52kg final at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships.
Guwahati's very own Shiva Thapa also emerged victorious in the 64 kg last-four clash against defending champion Bakhodur Usmonov of Tajikistan with a score of 4-0. Continuing his top-class performance, he bags a place in the finals of this competition for the third time.
Shri Sarbananda Sonowal, the former Chief Minister of Assam, congratulated Shiva Thapa for his heroic victory and for making it to the finals.
On Monday, Panghal will compete for the gold medal against Uzbekistan's Zoirov Shakhobidin, a Rio Olympics and World Champion. Thapa, who has already won a record fifth successive medal at the Championships, will now compete in the final against Mongolia's Baatarsukh Chinzorig, the defending Asian Games silver medalist.
Despite being injured above the eye, Vikas Krishan made a valiant effort. Vikas had sustained a cut above his eye in the previous round, and that wound had unfortunately reopened. In the third minute of the first round, the Doctor checked the cut and called a halt to the fight. However, Vikas was defeated by Uzbekistan's Baturov Bobo-Usmon with a split decision based on the points collected up to that point.
Varinder Singh was defeated 2-3 in the 60kg semi-final by Irani pugilist Daniyal Shahbakhsh.
M C Mary Kom (51kg), a Manipur-born Indian boxer and six-time world champion, advanced to the finals of the Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai on Thursday after defeating Mongolia's Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg in the women's 51kg semi-final. In the first round, she started defensively and took her time.
After losing their semifinal bouts, the Tokyo-bound combo of Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) of Assam and Simranjit Kaur (60kg), as well as Monika (48kg) and debutant Jaismine (57kg), settled for bronze medals. Monika was defeated 0-5 by Kazakhstan's second-seeded Alua Balkibekova, while Jaismine was defeated unanimously by another Kazakh, Vladislava Kukhta.
The International Boxing Association, AIBA, has set aside USD 4,00,000 in prize money for the ongoing championships. The gold medalists in the men's and women's divisions will each get USD 10,000, while the silver and bronze medalists will each receive USD 5,000 and 2,500. The women's and men's final matches will be played on Sunday and Monday, respectively.
150 fighters from 17 countries competed in the tournament, including prominent boxing nations like India, Uzbekistan, the Philippines, and Kazakhstan.