Quarter-final action began at the 27th Junior Men’s National Boxing Championship on Friday, with the Services team and Haryana once again stamping their dominance in the sport. While all 13 of the services boxers qualified to the round of eight, Haryana team saw 10 boxers progressing to the quarter-final stage of the championship. Hosts Maharashtra were not far behind with 9 while Delhi, Mizoram, MP and Uttarakhand rallied in with six boxers each.
The Services team once again looked on course to replicate last year’s success with likes of Naveen Kumar (50kg) a silver medal winner at the 2011 Junior World Championships, PL Prasad (48kg) a quarter-finalist at the same event, former Sub-Junior National Champion Ankur Bansiwal (46kg), reigning junior national champion Sandeep Bagri (52kg) all notching up easy victories to secure a semi-final berth.
Naveen playing in the fly weight division was up against Ashish Insha of Delhi. The Delhi boxer seemed completely out of sorts against the more experience Naveen. The 16 year old displayed his mastery of the craft; his exquisite combinations complement by his swift footwork. The gold medal winner at the 2011 President Heydar Aliyev Cup in Baku, Azebijan advanced to the penultimate round of the championship with an 11:2 victory.
Similar to his SSCB teammate, PL Prasad a three time gold medal winner at the Junior Nationals also powered through to the semi-finals with another resounding win, this time upstaging D Ajay of Chhattisgarh. Prasad won 13:3 on points. Bansiwal beat Gulam Nawi of UP 10:6 on points to cement his place in the round of four, while Sandeep trounced Samla Pusing of Nagaland 17:7.
Munish Kaushik (52kg), Deepak Pahal (57kg), Amit Panghal (46kg) and Rakesh (50kg) kept Haryana in the running sealing a berth in the next round in their respective weight categories. Kaushik, a quarter-finalist at the 2011 Junior World Championships and a bronze medallist in the 2011 President Heydar Aliyev Cup crushed Andhra boxer Ponnada Pruthvi, in the quarters. He was leading 8:2 in the first round when the referee intervened to stop the bout. Pahal too made a mockery of his opponent Md. Suhaib of Kerla. Suhaib was no match for the hard hitting punches and combinations of Pahal and in the end had to give in against the onslaught of the Haryana lad. Panghal beat Manish Sahu of Chhattisgarh while Rakesh triumphed over Manish Sharma of Punjab.
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