Odisha Warriors registered a resounding 6-1 victory over Bengaluru Brawlers to stay in the race for a semi-final berth in the Big Bout Boxing League in New Delhi.
Skipper Jakhongir Rakhmanov and Naman Tanwar posted wins to place Odisha Warriors in the front before women’s 57 kg youth national champion Jasmine and Gaurav Solanki won their respective bouts to take their team to victory.
Simranjit Kaur was the only boxer to win a bout for the Brawlers.
Rakhmanov overturned a sluggish start against Dinesh Dagar to gain a split verdict in the 69kg bout and give Odisha Warriors a winning start while Tanwar beat back a spirited challenge from Reyal Puri in the 91 kg as Odisha Warriors showed how eager they were to leave behind memories of losses to Punjab Panthers and Gujarat Giants.
Under pressure after the first two losses in the seven-bout tie, Brawlers heaved a sigh of relief when Kaur beat Priyanka Chaudhary in the women’s 60 kg bout.
But Jasmine defeated youth national bronze medallist Priti Banekar, cruising to a unanimous points decision to leave Odisha Warriors needing one more win.
Brawlers were hoping that Gaurav Bidhuri would find the win against Solanki in the high-intensity 57 kg bout, but those expectations were belied.
Solanki strained his every sinew in a quality clash, showing enormous mental strength in bouncing back from a 2-3 loss to Mohammed Husamuddin two nights ago, as he kept Bidhuri at bay.
Deepak, returning to the Odisha Warriors line-up after missing the clash with Gujarat Giants, beat Ashish Insah in a unanimous verdict in the 52 kg bout.
That gave Odisha Warriors a fifth win for the night, one more than the squad had managed from the two earlier matches put together.
Big Bout debutant Pramod Kumar, replacing Neel Kamal Singh in the line-up, secured the judges’ nod in the 75 kg fight with teenager Nitin Kumar.
Brawlers were without ace Pinki Rani Jangra, away on national duty in the South Asian Games, but Odisha Warriors chose to block the women’s 51 kg bout.