Himanshu (in red outfit) raises his hands after his victory
Himanshu (in red outfit) raises his hands after his victory

Punjab’s Himanshu Sharma headlines Day 1 of boxing nationals

ANI | Updated: Oct 27, 2018 23:24 IST

Pune (Maharashtra) [India], Oct 27 (ANI): Punjab pugilist Himanshu Sharma, who made the headlines when he won the gold medal in his maiden overseas appearance at the Belgrade International Boxing in Serbia earlier this year, punched his way into the quarterfinals on the opening day of the 3rd Elite Men’s National Boxing Championships at the Army Sports Institute in Pune, on Saturday.
Competing in the Light-flyweight category (46 kg), he defeated Routh Suraj Kumar of West Bengal by a unanimous 5:0 decision without breaking a sweat in the one-sided bout.
In the 39 qualification bouts, the Punjab and All India Police (AIP) boxers dominated the ring with four each of their boxers entering the quarterfinals. Delhi and Manipur were not afar as three each of their boxers made it to the last eight stages while two boxers each from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh and Services made the cut.
Interestingly, unconventional boxing states like Odisha, Gujarat, Pondicherry, and Karnataka also ensured a spot in the quarterfinal round. One each from Tripura, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Nagaland also qualified for the knockout round.
Lone boxer from Gujarat, Rizwan Ahhmed Shaik, and Orissa's Subham Chandra Chaudhary also made it to the quarters.
Himanshu, a national team boxer was aggressive from the beginning, trading a combination of punches on his West Bengal opponent. However, his aggressiveness cost him and he also received a few punches during his stint. Later, trying a more calculative approach, Himanshu capitalised on a counter-attack approach on his hapless Bengal opponent with the latter left to fend for himself all the time.
But the first knockout of the day happened when Arunachal’s Tara Heli Tana got the verdict in his favour in the second round against Uttar Pradesh’s Ankit Chauhan. Besides, there were about half a dozen Referee Stops Contest (RSC) verdicts on the day while most other bouts were one-sided.
The Championships are important for those aspiring boxers who would want to make it to the India squad and subsequently get selected for the Tokyo Olympics. The semi-final and final bouts are scheduled for November 1 and 2. (ANI)