WSB: Indian Tigers set for tough home ties (Preview)

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New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) Indias boxing fans are in for a rich treat of professional boxing, with the country all set to host two back to back matches in the World Series of Boxing (WSB) during this weekend.

The Indian Tigers will take on the Patriot Boxing team from Russia and the China Dragons on April 21 and 22 respectively, in what promises to be an exciting fare of differing styles and techniques.

This is the second home leg and the Tigers will seek redemption against the Russian franchisee after their trips to Kazakhstan and Russia, in their away games, failed to yield any positive response. They will aim to take full advantage of the home conditions and ride on the local support.

The team will have the full service of its best players, right from experienced pugilists to acclaimed stars to a dash of young blood too, which could prove to be a lethal combination.

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Leading India’s charge against the Patriots on Saturday will be AIBA World Championship bronze medallist and star boxer Shiva Thapa (60 kg). He marks his return to the squared ring through the professional format boxing and will hope to lead his team’s charge.

After missing out on the trip to Gold Coast and suffering an injury-plagued year, this will be Shiva’s first professional appearance for the Tigers and he will look to begin with a bang.

“I am confident about my fitness especially after my rehab; this will be the first time I will be out in the ring. This is my first brush with the Tigers and playing the semi-professional circuit after 2014, I am confident that I can make the opportunity count and secure a win,” three-time Asian Champion Shiva Thapa said ahead of his debut for the Indian Tigers.

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Alongside Shiva, World Championship quarter-finalist Kavinder Singh Bisht (52kg) who was the sole winner in the team’s trip to Kazakhstan for the opening game, will look to continue his winning run against the Russians too.

Accompanying these boxers, Indian Tigers will also comprise two-time National Champion silver medallist Duryodan Singh Negi (69kg), Brijesh Yadav (81kg) and Narender (+91kg) as part of the card against the Patriot Team (Russia) on Saturday.

On Sunday, the hosts will take on a team which has registered only a single win yet in their WSB campaign – the China Dragons.

Even though they went on to win a bout against the Russians, the Chinese franchisee sit at the bottom of the group standings after they had to give a walkover in their heavyweight category in their previous encounter.

Commonwealth Games silver medallist Mandeep Jangra (64kg) will be spearheading the Tigers against the Dragons while three-time King’s Cup gold medalist Shyam Kumar Kakara (49 kg) will look to bounce back from his defeat from the last match.

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The champion find from the first home leg, 19-year-old Mohd. Etash Khan (56kg) who left his opponent with blood oozing out of his head will also look to continue his rampage while Haryana’s Sanjeet (91kg) will look to dominate the heavyweight category.

Delhi boy Rohit Tokas (64kg) will look for support from the home fans as he looks to knock out his opponent with his quick jabs and hooks.

In their last home tie in Rohtak, the Tigers were on the losing side, slipping narrowly after putting up a staunch fight and will now look to up their game with home support over the weekend.



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