Five-time Asian Championships medallist Shiva Thapa made his way into the semi-finals at the 5th Elite Men’s National Boxing Championships as he defeated Railway Sports Promotion Boards (RSPB) Ankit Narwal in a thrilling quarter-final bout at the Inspire Institute of Sports in Bellary, Karnataka on Sunday.

The Assam boxer Thapa showed great footwork and used all his experience to put pressure on the opponent with precise punches. Though Thapa faced a stiff challenge, he did not let the momentum slip and completed a 4-1 win in the 63.5kg quarter-final. Semi-final matches will be played on Monday.

For RSPB Sachin and Varinder Singh (60kg) emerged victors in their respective quarter-finals. Sachin put up a dominating show to outperform Goa’s Roshan Zamir by a unanimous margin in the 54kg quarter-final match. While the 2021 Asian Championships bronze medallist Varinder also defeated Inderjit Singh of Daman, Diu & Nagar Haveli 5-0.

On the other hand, Uttar Pradesh’s Ravi Kumar advanced into the semi-finals in the 48kg with an aggressive win against Orrisa’s Santosh Pradhan. His powerful blows and continuous attack forced referees to stop the contest and declare him the winner.

The 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin of SSCB extended his winning run as he knocked out Maharashtra’s Rushikesh Gaud to enter the 57kg semi-finals.

Meanwhile, the reigning youth world champion Sachin once again impressed everyone as the Haryana boy looked too strong for his opponent Jitendra Chaudhary from Rajasthan. Sachin notched up an easy 5-0 win to progress into the 57kg semi-finals.

Punjab pugilists Vijay Kumar (60kg) and Rajinder Singh (54kg) also registered identical 5-0 victories to enter semis and ensured themselves at least bronze medals. While Vijay made the lightwork of Manipur’s Myson Moirangthem Manipur, Rajpinder got the better of Vishal Sheokand of Chandigarh.

With entries into the semis, these boxers have kept alive their hopes for spots in the 2021 AIBA Elite Men’s World Boxing Championships as the gold medallists will be selected to represent the country at the prestigious event which is scheduled in Serbia from October 24 to November 6.

–IANS

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