CWG boxing: Vijender knocked out; Suranjoy, Manoj in finals

By Alkesh Sharma, IANS,

New Delhi: India’s Olympic bronze medallist boxer Vijender Singh Monday suffered a shocking loss in the semi-finals and the Indian team management promptly lodged a protest against the verdict.

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Indian Boxing Federation secretary general P. K. Muralidharan Raja told IANS that a protest had been lodged and “let’s wait and see.”

National coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said that the authorities take their own time in deciding on the protests and one has to wait for the meeting to take place.

A dejected Vijender refused to talk to the media.

Two other Indians, Suranjoy Singh and Manoj Kumar, however, made the final without any hiccups at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium here.

Vijender, a prominent gold medal hope, lost 3-4 to English boxer Anthony Ogogo in the semi-final of the 75kg bout and won the bronze medal. All losing semi-finalists get bronze.

But in the 52 kg category, Suranjoy outclassed Pakistan boxer Haroon Iqbal 9-3 and Manoj won 3-1 against Bahamas’s Valentine Knowles in the 64kg bout.

Much was expected of Vijender, and despite starting on a defensive note he took a 1-0 lead till the end of second round. But in the final round, the English boxer was awarded four points dashing all hopes of an Indian victory.

Suranjoy, however, was satisfied with his performance and was optimistic about hope in Wednesday’s final.

“I had tried my level best to dominate the bout right from the start. I want to win gold for India in the Wednesday’s finals,” said Suranjoy.

Iqbal, who is the younger brother of famous British boxer of Pakistani orgin Amir Khan, praised Suranjoy.

“He is a great fighter and it was a tough match. I enjoyed fighting against him,” said Iqbal, who decided to represent Pakistan after he was snubbed by his country of birth, England.

Manoj thanked the crowd for the support.

“I was not worried about increasing the margin of winning. The only thing that matters is whether you win or not and I always play according to my opponent. I am very excited after the win and I also like to thank the crowd for their support,” said Manoj.

Other Indians, Amandeep Singh (46-49 kg), Jai Bhagwan (60kg) and Dilbagh Singh (69kg) also lost their semi-final matches and had to settle for the bronze.

Amandeep was beaten by Northern Ireland boxer Paddy Barnes in a tough match 5-6 and Jai Bhagwan was thrashed by Thomas Stalker of England 5-10. Dilbagh was edged out by Northern Ireland’s Patrick Gallagher 5-4.

A distraught Amandeep said: “I had done a lot of hard work but today I did not fight as I planned. I knew that Barnes boxes with a tight guard and I also tried to do the same, but it didn’t work. I deliberately waited for him to attack first but it did not work either.”

“I am a bit happy to win a medal for my country. Now my next aim is Asian Games and I will try my best to win gold there,” said Amandeep.

Jai Bhagwan said: “I tried my level best. I think both of us were equal and evenly matched. He won on the basis of warnings and not on punches. But I wish him luck for the upcoming bout.”