Shiva Thapa

Guwahati, Dec 10 (IANS) Local favourites Shiva Thapa (60kg) and Laishram Devendro Singh (52kg) registered contrasting wins to advance to the quarter-finals of their respective weight categories on the third day of the senior men’s boxing national championship on Saturday.

Manoj Kumar (69kg) a gold medallist at the 2010 Commonwealth Games and former Asian Games silver medallist Dinesh Kumar (91kg) also proceeded to the quarters at the Sarusajai Indoor Stadium here.

Shiva’s bout — the most awaited of the day — was by far the best in terms of competition when the two-time Olympian overcame a stiff fight from Services Sports Control Board’s (SSCB) Manish to win 4-1 by a split decision.

Entering the ring to thunderous applause, the 23-year-old Shiva completely dominated the first round only for Manish to bounce back in the second round.

However, the two-time Olympian used his experience to good effect in the final three minutes to live up to the expectations of the crowd, which had gathered in good numbers to catch their local hero in action.

Such was the enthusiasm for Shiva’s bout that even the proceedings in the other ring were halted as the selection committee and ring officials shifted to catch the action.

Hailing his opponent after advancing to the quarter-finals, Shiva said: “It was a great fight from the Services boxer. He is technically very sound but I had planned and strategised well to take him on which worked in my favour here.”

The Asian Games gold medallist asserted that he is now focussed on nothing less than a yellow medal at the ongoing nationals.

“I have just finished my bout now and will head for my training straightway. I don’t know who I am facing next, so I am just focussing on my training and preparations.”

“Definitely focussing on the gold, lets see who my next opponent is in the quarters,” he added.

Manipur’s Devendro, however, was at his lethal best in his second round bout against Uttarakhand’s Arvind in the Flyweight (52kg) category, pocketing it 5-0 by an unanimous decision.

The 24-year-old Asian Championships and Commonwealth Games silver medallist dominated the proceedings right from the start, forcing the Uttarakhand pugilist to face a standing eight count twice with his flurry of punches.

Meanwhile, it turned out to be an easy outing for Dinesh Kumar from the All India Police, as the referee stopped the contest in his favour within the first few minutes of his Heavyweight (91kg) category bout against Rajasthan’s Tanish.

“I had suffered an accident in 2013 in which my right arm was severely damaged. The doctors had told me to forget boxing for at least two years. But since I am feeling better now, I am back to compete,” Dinesh, who participated in his maiden competition in two and a half years, said after his bout.

Earlier, in the morning session, Commonwealth Games medallist Manoj Kumar from the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) overcame stiff competition in the Welterweight (69kg) category from Meghalaya’s Tilok Budha to advance with a 5-0 win.

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