Asian Boxing C'ships: Vikas Krishan in final; Satish, Devendro and Shiva settle for bronze

Bangkok: Former World Championships bronze-medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg) was the lone Indian to make the final while three others settled for bronze medals after losing hard-fought semifinal contests in the Asian Boxing Championships on Friday.

Vikas defeated Iraq's Waheed Abdulridha 3-0 to set up a clash with Uzbekistan's Bektemir Melikuziev in the final tomorrow. 

However, Satish Kumar (+91kg), L Devendro (49kg) and defending champion Shiva Thapa (56kg) lost their respective semifinals despite valiant efforts and settled for bronze medals.

All three of them had earlier assured themselves of berths in next month's World Championships -- the first qualifier for 2016 Olympics. 

Also making the World Championships cut today were, Madan Lal (52kg) and Manoj Kumar (64kg) after the Uzbek boxers who beat them in the quarterfinals -- Shakhobidin Zoirov, seeded second, and Fazliddin Gaibnazarov respectively -- advanced to the final.

Vikas, an Asian Games bronze-medallist, was the last Indian in action today and he made sure that the contingent had something to cheer for after a largely disappointing day. Unlike his usual defensive style, the Haryana-lad was attacking in his approach today and let loose a flurry of combination punches to push Abdulridha on the backfoot.

The Indian, the busier of the two when it came to attack, did not allow Abdulridha to come out of the shell guard in the first round.

In the second round, Vikas targetted Abdulridha's torso, forcing him to counter-attack. Vikas then took full advantage
of the defensive lapses committed by the Iraqi and connected his left uppercuts with deadly accuracy.

In the end, the 23-year-old emerged a unanimous winner, getting the nod of all three judges.

"His boxing was very clean and his punches had power. In the final round, he showed how to maneuver after dominating the first two rounds. Very clinical show," national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu told PTI.

"It is a very satisfying performance and I am glad that six of my boys made the World Championships cut," he added. 

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