Manish Kaushik beat four-time Asian Championships medallist Shiva Thapa to find a berth in the eight-member squad led by Asian Games champion Amit Panghal that will represent India at the AIBA Men’s World Championships to be held in Ekaterinburg, Russia from September 7-21.
While Panghal (52kg) was directly given a place in the squad for winning a gold at the Asian Championships which was the original criterion for selection, Kavinder Singh Bisht (57kg), Manish Kaushik (63kg), Duryodhan Singh Negi (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Brijesh Yadav (81kg), Sanjeet (91kg), and Satish Kumar (+91kg) joined him through trials held at NIS Patiala last weekend.
Only the top two boxers from each of the categories were eligible for the trials with their recent performances being the criteria for selecting the faceoff names. Kaushik’s win by split decision over former World Championships bronze medallist Shiva Thapa in 63 kg was undoubtedly the most notable result from the trials.
Thapa had avenged his 2018 India Open loss to Kaushik at this year’s India Open in Guwahati to claim the gold but failed to repeat those heroics this time.
In 75 kg, Ashish Kumar faced no problem and thoroughly outpunched Prayag Chauhan to claim a unanimous victory. Duryodhan Singh Negi put up a commendable display in 69 kg against Ashish Kulhari. Even though two judges did not rule in his favour, he still managed to grab a win on a split verdict going in his favour.
Brijesh Yadav re-asserted his supremacy in 81 kg by beating Harsh Lakra while Sanjeet dominated CWG bronze medallist, Naman Tanwar in the 91 kg category. Satish Kumar did not have to enter the ring for the +91 kg bout with his opponent, Naveen suffering an injury and being in rehab.
The Indian men’s boxing contingent put up encouraging displays at the Asian Championships and the India Open this year and will be eager to improve upon their performance from the last World Championships where they won a bronze. This will be the perfect platform to gauge themselves against the world’s best before the 2020 Olympic qualifiers begin.