National Boxing Championship: Rohit Tokas ends Chandigarh local hope Ashish Kumar’s challenge to enter semi-final

Railways’ Rohit Tokas (in blue) defeated Himachal Pradesh’s Ashish Kumar 4-1. Express

Rohit Tokas (75kg) scored a huge upset, as he stunned Asian Championships silver medallist and home favourite Ashish Kumar in the quarter-final to nook his spot in the semi-finals in the Fourth Elite Men’s National Boxing Championship at Baddi on Tuesday.

Tokas, who is representing Railways, adopted a counter-attacking strategy against his taller opponent from Himachal Pradesh. He succeeded in landing more punches to unsettle Kumar with a mix of close-range attack. He landed more clear punches in the third round to finally complete an upset win with 4:1

“It is my first tournament in the new weight category and defeating a big player is a huge morale booster. I worked a lot on my strength and did a lot of weight training in my preparation ahead of the nationals. I am glad that my counter-attacking strategy worked. Hopefully, I will win gold medal again,” said Tokas.

Shiva Thapa (63 kg) showed his composure and experience as he ended the challenge of Yogesh Tokas of Delhi with a 4:0 verdict in a one-sided bout. Thapa will now face Abhishek Yadav of Uttar Pradesh in the semi-finals.

The 2016 World Youth Boxing Champion, Sachin Siwach (57kg) was fierce and aggressive and did not put a foot wrong in the 5-0 win over Michael Dominic of Telangana. The services boxer will take on Punjab’s Sagar Chand for a place in the finals on Wednesday.

Naman Tanwar (91kg) of Railways blasted his way past Akhil Poonia of Rajasthan with a 4:0 verdict to enter the semi-finals. Tanwar will now face Kapil Pokhariya of Uttrakhand, who is last year’s bronze medallist. Services boxer PL Prasad (52 kg) was registered a strong victory over opponent Sudeep Kumar from Uttar Pradesh, with a 5:0 verdict. Pankaj Chauhan (75kg) of Chandigarh reached the semi-finals after getting a walkover in the quarter-final bout against Punjab’s Lakhbir Singh. He will face Ankit Khatana of Haryana to secure a place in the finals.