Global Sports

Shiva Thapa secures his fifth successive medal at Asian Boxing Championships

Team KT/Dubai
Filed on May 25, 2021
Shiva Thapa (right) punches Nader Odah during their fight in Dubai on Tuesday. (Supplied photo)

Previously, Thapa has won one gold (2013), one silver (2017) and two bronze (2015 and 2019) at the championships

Indian boxer Shiva Thapa came up with a scintillating performance to outpunch Nader Odah in the men’s 64kg quarterfinals at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai on Tuesday.

With a comprehensive 5-0 victory against Kuwait’s Odah, the Assam boxer reached the semifinals and also confirmed his fifth back-to-back medal at the Asian Championships.

Previously, Thapa has won one gold (2013), one silver (2017) and two bronze (2015 and 2019) at the championships.

The Indian will now face a tough test in the semifinal against the top seed, Bakhodur Usmonov of Tajikistan.

Earlier, Mohammad Hussamuddin went down fighting (1-4) against the reigning world champion and top seed Mirazizbek Mirzahalilov in the men’s 56kg quarterfinals.

The defending champion Mirzahalilov started the contest with an aggressive intent. Hussamuddin, however, tried to gain momentum with a good defence and counter-attacking punches, but the experienced Uzbek boxer did not allow Indian any chance of comeback before completing a 4-1 victory.

The third day of the prestigious event, which is being jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation, will see India’s Olympic-bound men pugilists Amit Panghal, Vikas Krishan and Ashish Kumar open their campaign alongside two other boxers in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Panghal, the World Championships silver medallist and defending champion, will face a strong challenge from Kharkhuu Enkhmandakh in the 52 kg bout.

When the duo last met at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Jordan last year, the Mongolian boxer had put up a tough fight before the Indian managed to win.

Meanwhile, Asian Games champion Vikas Krishan will face Iran’s Moslem Malamir in 69kg.

Ashish Kumar (75kg), who clinched silver medal in the last edition of the event, and Narender (+91kg) will also be up against powerful opponents from Kazakhstan.

While Ashish will play World Championships and Asian Games silver medallist Abilkhan Amankul, Narender is set to fight against the two-time world championships silver medallist Kamshybek Kunkabayev, who is also aiming for his third successive medal at the Asian Championships.

Current national champion Varinder Singh (60kg) is the other Indian pugilist who will be looking to confirm a medal for the country when he takes on Jere Cruz of Philippines in lightweight last-8 bout.

In the 81kg opening round bout played late in the night on Monday, Sumit Sangwan suffered a 5-0 defeat against Iranian boxer Meysam Gheshlaghi.

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