India tasted overwhelming success as four of its boxers moved into the finals of the XXX Energy Drink Commonwealth boxing championship at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium here on Monday.
Vijender Singh, Dinesh Kumar and Paramjeet Samota came up with power-packed performances while Suranjoy Singh's perseverance paid off.
Vijender and Dinesh's semifinal bouts offered a lot of entertainment for the sparse home fans in the stands.
The Olympic bronze medallist completely dominated his rival Selemani Kidunda to build a substantial 4-0 lead in the first round and 8-0 in the second. His decisive punch in the third round, which resulted in a head injury to the Tanzanian, forced the referee to stop the bout. Vijender was leading 10-1 when he was declared the winner.
“I tried to evade his right punches and scored off my right punches,” said the 24-year-old, who will take on Englishman Frank Buglioni in the battle for the 75-kg gold medal.
India's chief coach G.S. Sandhu lauded Vijender's effort. “His ability to step back and move forward quickly helped a lot,” Sandhu said.
Dinesh was slow to start with against another Tanzanian Leonard Machichi, as the first round ended 1-1. The World Cup medallist, however, switched to offensive mode to gather five points in the next round.
Leading 8-1 in the final round, Dinesh's precise upper-cut left the ‘bull-fighter' gasping for breath. The referee was left with no choice but to stop the contest. Dinesh will meet Scotsman Callum Johnson in the 81-kg final.
Suranjoy banked on his rock-solid defence and swift movement to ward off a strong challenge from Wales pugilist Andrew Selby. The Asian champion was ahead 2-0 in the first round and 4-0 in the second.
The third round witnessed some drama as the two boxers tried to intimidate each other. However, Suranjoy kept his cool and emerged victorious with a 4-0 scoreline. In the 52-kg title clash, Suranjoy will challenge Oliver Lavigi of Mauritius.
Springing a surprise
Paramjeet sprung a surprise by beating Ross Henderson of Scotland 5-2. The Indian will meet New Zealand's Joseph Parker for the +91 kg gold.
Sandhu was short of words while describing the Asian bronze medal winner's triumph over a European boxer. “His performance was beyond imagination. It happened because of his courage and determination. This will inspire the other heavyweight boxers in our country,” Sandhu said.
The results (semifinals):
52-kg: Suranjoy Singh (Ind) bt Andrew Selby (Wal) 4-0, Oliver Lavigi (Mri) bt P.D. Suresh (SL) 3-1.
75-kg: Frank Buglioni (Eng) bt Nathan McEwen (NZ) 10-2, Vijender Singh (Ind) bt Selemani Kidunda (Tan) RSC-H (R3).
81-kg: Callum Johnson (Sco) bt Rodney Prosper (Mri) 7-2, Dinesh Kumar (Ind) bt Leonard Machichi (Tan) RSC-OC (R3).
91-kg: Simon Vallily (Eng) bt David Aloua Rogers (NZ) 10-5, Elly Ajowi (Ken) bt Stephen Simmons (Sco) 9-3.
+91 kg: Joseph Parker (NZ) bt Frazer Clarke (Eng) 7-3, Paramjeet Samota
(Ind) bt Ross Henderson (Sco) 5-2.