The Shiv Chattrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi, Pune came to life on Tuesday as young Indian glove men took to the stage in the 27th Junior National Boxing Championship. The Junior Nationals, considered to be a melting pot of raw talent, once again promised to enthral boxing aficionados with an exciting display of style, stamina and strength.
The championship got underway with action in the Pin Weight category with some major upsets. Manish Sahu of Chhattisgarh trounced Aman Kumar of Bihar, a silver medallist at the 25th Junior National Championship in 2009. 16 year old Sahu, made a mockery of his opponent as he went on to secure a 7:1 victory on points. D Srinivasan a gold medallist at the 25th Junior National Championship in 2009 also went down to Deepak Singh of Chandigarh. Singh who started off slow came back strongly to advance to next round with a 4:2 win.
The Light Fly weight category put forth some riveting contests, with a few fights going down to the wire. Gyanendra Sharma of Madhya Pradesh, a bronze medallist at the 25th Junior National Championship in 2009 and D. Ajay of Chhattisgarh, a silver medal winner at the 1st Sub-Junior National Boxing Championship notched up similar victories, winning through individual judges score. While Gyanendra beat Rajendra Rawat of Uttarakhand, Ajay drubbed Nitin Sharma of J&K.
PL Prasad, who has been bagging the gold at the Junior Nationals for the last three years, also advanced to the next round with a decisive win. Prasad, who defeated England's European Junior Championships silver medallist Luke McCormack at the Junior World Championships before bowing out in the quarter-finals, looks all set to win his fourth Junior National title. The 16 year old, representing the SSCB team, completely outclassed Amalnath of Kerela; he was leading 4 Nil in the first round when the referee intervened to stop the fight.
In the Fly Weight division, Manish Sharma of Punjab, Naveen Kumar of Haryana and Kavinder Bisht of Uttarakhand all marched into the next round of the championship with resounding victories. Manish outdid Dhaval Bariya of Gujarat in a lopsided contest (10:1), while Naveen, the Sub-Junior National Champion thrashed Arpit Joshi of Rajasthan (16:4). Bisht also surpassed Manoj Prasad of West Bengal with the referee having to end the contest. He was leading 13:4 in the third round.
The championship which is being contested in the 13 weight categories will witness almost 260 boxers from 32 state/board teams’ battle for the title of “Junior National Champion”, over the course of next five days.
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