LP Prasad (49kg) continued his winning spree as he went on to claim the light fly weight title at the 33rd International Tammer Tournament on Sunday (21 Oct 2012). The 17 year old put up a sterling performance against the solid attack of Jack Bateson from England to emerge victorious in the Championship round and bag his first International medal. But the other Indian in the fray in the finals, Dheeraj Singh (52kg) had to make do with a silver medal after losing out to Elie Konki of France.
Prasad made his place in the finals after ousting Welsh boxer Ashley Williams in the semi-finals in what was another spirited performance by the services boxer. In the finals Bateson, a European Youth Championship quarter-finalist, did not allow the Indian to set the early pace. After the opening three minutes of play both the boxers ended up with three points apiece. In the second round though, Prasad managed to penetrate the sound defence of English boxers with his cracking combinations (8-7). In the final round he launched an all out offensive taking the game away from his opponent. Prasad won his first international gold medal with an overall score of 14-10. “It was a tough fight but I stuck to my strategy and played my natural game and in the end it paid off pretty well. It was a proud moment for me to hear the national anthem being played at the medal ceremony. I am happy with my performance in the tournament plus winning the gold will be a big motivating factor in the upcoming Youth World Championships”, stated Prasad after winning the title.
Unfortunately Dheeraj was not able to replicate his teammate’s success, but 17 year old put up good fight in the finals of the fly weight category. A bronze medal winner at the 2011 Agalarov Cup in Baku, Azerbaijan, Dheeraj matched the French boxer punch for punch in the beginning. But Konki’s superior power play helped him gained the advantage as the bout progressed. Dheeraj tried hard to make a comeback, but the Frenchman was up to the task, and did not give up the advantage. In the end the Indian boxer lost the championship bout on points 11-17.
Coach G Manoharan was extremely pleased with the way Prasad fought throughout the tournament and said, “Prasad’s ability to measure his opponent and adapt his game accordingly is something that makes him an asset for the Indian youth team. He has shown great promise and has the potential to go the distance. I am looking forward to see him perform at the Youth World Championships later next month, which will be a good test of his skills.”
Another performer in the Indian contingent was Mr Lenny D' Gama, the Technical Advisor of Goa Amateur Boxing Association and the ex-chairman of the Ring Officials Commission. Mr D’ Gama who is also an international three star referee & judge was nominated for the 33rd Tammer International Tournament by IABF in that capacity. He expressed, “I have officiated as an R&J at many international events but to see the young crop of Indian boxing talent do well is always a privilege. The boys and the Coach deserve a lot of praise for the hard work and practice they put in for this tournament. We hope to see the better results at AIBA Youth Championships next month at Armenia.”