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There was no stopping the favourites as Shiva Thapa and Manoj Kumar stood just one win away from their second successive national boxing titles after advancing to the marquee domestic event’s final, in Visakhapatnam on Sunday.
Shiva, a three-time Asian Championships medallist besides being a World Championships bronze-medallist, got the better of Delhi’s Buntee Singh 5-0 in his lightweight (60kg) semifinal clash. He will next be up against Services Sports Control Board’s (SSCB) Manish Kaushik, the man he had beaten in the previous edition’s quarterfinal. Manish defeated Punjab’s Palwinder Singh 5-0 in his last-four stage bout.
Former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj also continued his fine run as he beat Punjab’s Shubaham in the welterweight (69kg) semis. Manoj’s summit clash rival would be SSCB’s Duryodhan Singh, who defeated Madhya Pradesh’s Manish Uikey.
Three-time King’s Cup gold-medallist K Shyam Kumar, competing for the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB), also advanced to his second successive Nationals’ final after putting it past Chandigarh’s Vipin Kumar 5-0.
Shyam Kumar will square off against Mizoram’s Nt Lalbiakkima in the final, aiming to better the silver medal he won in the last edition held in Guwahati. Also advancing to the final was Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Mandeep Jangra, competing in his maiden event in the middleweight (75kg) category. The RSPB boxer defeated Delhi’s Parag Chauhan to make the final.