Haryana and Maharashtra dominated the third day of the 3rd Youth men’s and women’s national boxing championship in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand with eight pugilists from the two states progressing to the quarterfinals.
Four boxers from Maharashtra entered the quarterfinals, while Ankit Narwal-led Haryana boxers also reached the last-eight stage.
Narwal, the 2018 Youth Asian Championship bronze winner, put up an incredible show in men’s 60kg category to stave off a resilient challenge from Orissa’s SR Sahoo. Narwal advance with an unanimous 5:0 verdict.
Haryana’s Akshay Kumar also came up with similar result. He exposed his opponent’s defence with a flurry of punches to post a comfortable 5:0 win and advance to the quarters of 64kg.
In the women’s category, Haryana’s Bharti and Poonam continued the fine run for the state. Bharti registered a hard-fought 3-2 win over Ekta Saroj of Punjab in a bout which went down to the wire, while Poonam got the better of Assamese boxer Kimpa Boro.
The highlight of women’s boxing though was the bout between Manipur’s Babyrojisana Chanu and Kerala’s Aiswariya Raj PT in the 51kg.
Chanu proved too strong for her opponent as the referee had to stop the contest few seconds on the clock in R1.
However, it was a disappointing day for local boxers – Pankaj Kumar and Neeraj Singh Devli. Pankaj suffered defeat at the hands of Vijaydeep of SSCB in an unanimous 5:0 verdict while Neeraj went down to 2018 Asian Championship bronze medallist Vinit.