While the Olympic qualified Indian pugilists are getting their share of match practice at the International arena in their preparation for the 2012 London Games, there is action beckoning at the home front as well. The sixth edition of the Inter Zonal Men’s National Boxing Championship, presented by Monnet Ispat & Energy Limited got underway in Jaipur, Rajasthan on Tuesday (19 Jun 2012). The four day long event, that is fast becoming a premier national tournament, witnesses the cream of Indian boxing from the domestic circuit battle it out for the title of Inter-Zonal champions. Popularly known as the ‘Super Cup’, the tournament this year will see 63 boxers from seven teams vying for glory. The list of teams comprise of North, North East, East, South, West and Centre along with hosts Rajasthan.
Semi-final action began on Thursday (21 Jun 2012) with the Salman Anwar Shaikh of the West Zone giving local lad Vipin Singh a lesson in the craft, in the light fly weight division. The 21 year old from Maharashtra dominated the game with his decisive attacks. He led throughout the bout finally making his place in the title clash with a score of 26:15. In the other half of the draw, young and upcoming boxer Bahadur Singh Rana of the Central Zone ousted his more experienced adversary Naveen Kumar of South Zone in an enthralling contest. The 19 year old, who won a bronze medal at the senior nationals last month, was quick to grab three point lead after the first two rounds. Kumar tried hard to make a comeback in the final round, but Rana held on to the advantage and won on points 7:5. The Championship round is expected to be a riveting match up when Shaikh takes on Rana on Friday (22 Jun 2012).
In the fly weight category it was a fight to the finish when Sumit Kumar representing the North Zone took on Central Zone boxer Kavinder Bisht. There was not much separating the two, with both the fighters putting on a great show. Kumar the North India Champion took the first round (6:5), but Bisht the gold medal winner from the Central Zone equalled things up in the penultimate round (6:5). In the end though, it was Kumar who triumphed after taking a crucial one point lead in the final three minutes of play. Vijay Dobale of the West Zone had to dig deep against Ibomcha Singh of the North East Zone. Dobale a bronze medal winner from last year had a two point advantage going into the second round. Ibomcha put in some hard hitting left and right jabs trying to make up the difference, but Doble was up to the challenge. The 24 year old from Maharashtra, with his solid defence and counter attacks maintained the lead and went on to make his place in the next round win a 14:11 victory. He will now square up against Sumit in the finals.
Central Zone boxer Rohit Tokas breezed past Arun Sharma from Rajasthan to advance into the finals of the light weight division. The reigning Youth National Champion had little trouble getting rid of Sharma; winning by a margin of 10 points (13:3). In the summit clash he will lock horns with Pappu Tamang of the East Zone, who prevailed after a hard fought contest with Ashish of the North Zone.
North Zone pugilists Naresh Kumar and Mrunal Bhosle of the West Zone registered contrasting wins to make their place in the ultimate round of the light welter weight class. Kumar, the reigning North Zone Champion ousted Gourav Jangid of South Zone in less than three minutes, with the referee having to stop the fight. In the other side of the draw Bhosle and local lad Vikram Singh were engaged in a raging battle for a place in finals. Both the boxers opened strongly exchanging countless blows. Bhosle managed to squeeze in a couple of more strikes than Singh, taking a two point lead after the opening three minutes. The two relentlessly continued to pound at each other in the next two rounds as well and after regulation time the score were knotted at 21. In the end though it was Bhosle who walked away with the win on individual judges score.
For complete semi-final results and the final line up please visit IABF official website www.indiaboxing.com