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Devendro, Shanmugam in semifinals

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INTENSE BATTLE: M. Shanmugam (right) of Tamil Nadu in action against Manjeet Kumar of Haryana in the 54kg bantamweight quarterfinal.
INTENSE BATTLE: M. Shanmugam (right) of Tamil Nadu in action against Manjeet Kumar of Haryana in the 54kg bantamweight quarterfinal.

Sports Reporter

Coimbatore: SSCB’s Devendro and Tamil Nadu’s M. Shanmugam made mincemeat of their opponents and marched into the semifinals of the 42nd National youth boxing championship at the Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya Indoor Stadium here on Friday.

Devendro, who clinched the gold in an international invitation meet in Cuba late last month, did not sweat much on his way to a 4-0 win over Sikkim’s Madan Rai.

The 17-year-old Manipur youngster, arguably the most exciting fighter available in India at this level, fought like a professional on Friday. He stayed calm, dealt with adversity in an assured manner, and clobbered his rival for a convincing 4-0 win and a place in the last four of the lightfly (48kg) class.

Shanmugam, the darling of the crowd, was not his usual self. He kept aside his aggressive skills for a while and opened up midway through to tear apart Manjeet Kumar of Haryana for a semifinal berth in the bantamweight (54kg) category.

Shanmugam was well aware of the strengths of his opponent. But, he did not panic. He used his savvy in a smart manner to avoid early damage in the first two rounds.

The third round saw the Chennai youngster in a marauding mood. He used his height to a great advantage. And, that in fact gave him all the leverage on his punches and earned him precious points.

With the crowd behind him, Shanmugam went about boldly doing his job. He bashed his rival quite early in the fourth and gutted out the rest of the round for a resounding 13-5 win.

The results: Quarterfinals: Lightfly (48kg): Devendro (SSCB) bt Madan Rai (Sik) 4-0; Aheibam Bony (Tri) bt Bahadur Singh (Utk) 11-10; S. Ziyaudeen (TN) bt Rishi (HP) (RSC OC R-1); Jagdeep Kumar (Pun) bt Mayur Paysude (Mah) 8-4.

Fly (51kg): D.S. Baskar (AP) bt Mayank Singh (MP) 13-2; Suraj (Meg) bt Amit Kumar (Jha) 8-1; S.S. Shriniwas (SSCB) bt Arun Kumar Limbu (Aru) 7-3; L. Herojit Singh (Tri) bt Avinash Ashok Kumar (Guj) 17-0.

Bantam (54kg): N. Limanguba Tsubir (Nag) bt Gurvinder Singh (Raj) 7-6; M. Govind Rao (AP) bt Sandeep Toppo (Jha) 20-3; M. Shanmugam (TN) bt Manjeet Kumar (Har) 13-5.

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