Indian boxers Shiva Thapa and Amit Panghal have made it to the semi-finals of the ongoing India Open Boxing tournament in Guwahati. Thapa won the 60kg category bout against Hellene Damien of Mauritius while in the 52kg category, Panghal got the better of Thai boxer against Chakapong Chanpirom.
It was a fantastic day for the local lad Shiva Thapa in the men’s 60kg category as the Assamese boxer booked a place in the top four by beating Hellene Damien from Mauritius by a unanimous 5-0 verdict in his favour. Thapa will now meet D Krystian Sczepanski of Poland in the semi-final bout of the tournament which is being played at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium in Guwahati.
"I was facing a taller opponent like him for the first time in my category. He had a better reach so my strategy was to hit him from the close range and then quickly go out of his reach. It worked out perfectly,” Thapa was quoted as saying after the win.
“I can't express in words the amazing feeling. The crowd was all at their toes and it was about living up to their expectation."
Joining Thapa in the semi-finals of the 60kg category will be Ankit and Manish Kaushik who also won via 5-0 decisions against their opponents in respective bouts.
In the 52kg category, Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal put up a clinical show and cruised into the semi-final. The top four in the category are all Indians with P L Prasad, Sachin Siwach and Gaurav Solanki have all made it to the semi-finals.
Panghal played a waiting game against Chakapong Chanpirom in the first round and eventually won the bout with a unanimous 5-0 decision in his favour. He will now take on national champion Prasad. The other semi-final encounter will be played between Siwach and Solanki. Siwach got the better of Philippines’ Rogen Ladon via a 4-1 split verdict while Solanki managed to register a 5-0 win against Louis Fleurot of Mauritius.
"It took some time for me to assess him and get a grip of his style of play but I'm happy that it paid off," Panghal said.
"It's a tough category. Many new boxers will come in to meet the Olympic qualification standard. I have to watch both.”
After the bout, Siwach explained, "Last time I went for an all-out attack that did not pay off. I watched videos of the bout and this time I could rectify my mistakes. We never faced in a competition. But I've been his sparring partner in the camp. We all know each other's strengths and weaknesses. I'm 100 per cent confident of an easy win.”
Ashish Kumar qualified for the semi-finals in the 75kg category by knocking out Argentine Francisco Veron 4-1 by split decision while Sumit Sangwan also assured a medal for the host nation by beating Aleksander Celejewski by a unanimous decision and making his way into the top four round.