Shiva, Hussamuddin, Prasad win golds as Services continue domination

Shiva Thapa (63kg), Mohammad Hussamuddin (57kg) and PL Prasad (52kg) clinched gold medals in their respective categories on the final day of fourth Elite Men’s National Boxing Championships on Thursday.

In 63kg final, Assam’s Shiva grabbed the gold medal after defeating Services’ Akash 4-1.

Shiva started slowly and took some time to gauge his opponent’s strategy but once he settled down, he dominated the proceedings and controlled the bout.

In one of the highly-anticipated bouts of the day, Hussamuddin of Services defeated Railways’ Sachin Siwach 3-2 in a split verdict to clinch the yellow metal in the 57kg category.

The fierce bout started with Hussamuddin conceding more punches as the lanky Sachin took advantage of his height.

But Hussamuddin made a strong comeback in the next two rounds, dodging a lot of punches and adopting an attacking strategy mixed with counter-attacking punches to clinch the bout in his favour.

“This gold medal is really important for me as it has enhanced my confidence before a very crucial period leading up to the Olympics,” an elated Hussamuddin said.

Services’ PL Prasad (52kg), who had an easy run till the final, faced a tough challenge from Ashish Insha of Railways. The two boxers exchanged a lot of blows and displayed their attacking prowess before Prasad used his experience in the last round to win 3-2 and defend his national title.

In 69kg, Services’ Naveen Boora ended Gujarat’s Jayesh Desai’s winning run with some brutal and heavy punches which forced the referee to stop the contest in the first round itself.

In the 75kg and 91kg finals, Haryana’s Ankit Khatana and Sumit Sangwan bagged the gold medals after Railways’ boxers Rohit Tokas and Naman Tanwar withdrew because of minor injuries.

The 52kg final saw young Services boxer Vinod Tanwar complete his dream run with a gold medal, defeating Maharashtra’s Ajay Pendor 4-1.

Services, meanwhile, continued its domination at the national level and defended the national title. Services won nine medals including six gold, two silver and one bronze to top the standings with 62 points.

Railways and Haryana finished second and third respectively with 37 and 30 points.