Siwach upsets Solanki; local boy Shiva in final

GUWAHATI: Former world youth champion, Sachin Siwach upset Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Gaurav Solanki in the 52kg category to storm into the final of the 2nd India Open International Boxing Tournament here on Thursday.

Siwach exuded confidence through his fiery flurry of punches against the accomplished Solanki to set up a final showdown with Amit Panghal, who has won gold medals at the Asian Championships as well as the Strandja Cup this year.

Siwach, who earned a bronze from the GeeBee Boxing tournament in 2019, hopes to change the colour of his medal to gold in his first meeting with Panghal in a competitive event.

“I have been beating Gaurav Solanki for quite some time and I was full of confidence that I would be able to beat him today as well,” said Sachin after his win.

“Amit has improved a lot of late but this is my big chance to show my prowess in a major competition at the senior level,” added the rising star.

Meanwhile four-time Asian Championships medallist and Guwahati boy, Shiva Thapa stormed into the final of the men’s 60kg category.

Shiva, 25, who came here after a bronze from the Asian Championships, did not take much time to assert his supremacy over Poland’s D Krystian Sczepanski and hand over a 5-0 demolition.

A year after losing in the semi-finals, Shiva rode on vociferous cheers of support to set up a revenge match with defending 60kg champion Manish Kaushik. Kaushik, meanwhile, thumped Ankit 5-0 in his semi-final.

“My opponent was getting tired so I tried to put some false punches to make him more tired. I am glad the strategy worked,” said Thapa after his victory.

On the other hand, Asian Games gold medallist, Amit Panghal had a cakewalk against fellow Indian PL Prasad with a 5-0 win in the 52kg category.

Former World Championships bronze medallist Gaurav Bidhuri was a big Indian hope to lose out on a place in the final. Bidhuri was beaten 0-5 by Thailand’s former Asian champion Chatchai Decha Butdee and had to settle for the bronze.

Asian Championships silver medallist Deepak (49kg) did not even have to enter the ring to confirm his final berth as he got a walkover from Philippines’s Carolo Cano Paalam.

Kavinder Singh Bisht, also a silver medallist from the continental event, remained in the hunt for the 56kg gold following a tight 4-1 win over compatriot Madan Lal.

Fresh from winning his maiden medal from the Asian Championships, Ashish Kumar (75kg) will now target the gold at the India Open 2019 after edging Thailand’s Aphisit Khankhokkruea 4-1. He will meet Eumir Felix Delos Santos of Philippines who knocked out Manjeet Panghal.

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