Dilbag Singh, who takes Sachin Tendulkar as his role model, would have made the master-blaster proud of his achievements. The Railway pugilist clinched his ninth national championship title when he out-boxed Naveen of Haryana 14-6 in the welterweight category (69 kgs) final on the concluding day of the 59th National Boxing Championship at Lal Bahadur Indoor Stadium on Sunday.
“I’m always inspired by Sachin Tendulkar’s performance, who plays the game with a lot of passion even at the age of 39 years. He has surely been my role model,’’ said the Haryanavi boxer.
Dilbag has been the star boxer of the championship apart from TH Nanao Singh in the absence of star Olympians, who decided to skip the nationals this year. Nanao reigned supreme in the light flyweight category (46-49 kg) by outclassing Amandeep (Railways) 18-15.
But it was Dilbag’s show tonight. Boxing in front of former seven-time national champion and Arjuna Awardee Dennis Swamy, the Railways boxer used the ring craft in style to outwit the Haryana boxer. His straight and solid punches had Naveen scampering for cover. Naveen was a hapless spectator as Dilbag won the first round at 7-2, made it 11-3 in the second before winning at 14-6. Karnataka’s V Durga Rao, who learnt his boxing from Visakhapatnam, floundered at the start and surrendered meekly to Soubam Santosh Singh of Manipur 9-15. Santosh was initially announced as the best boxer before the federation changed it at the last-minute and instead Nanao was declared the best boxer. Railways clinched the team championship title for sixth successive year and Services finished runners-up.
RESULTS (all finals)
Light flyweight (46-49 kgs): TH Nanao Singh (SSCB) bt Amandeep Singh (RSPB) 18-15; Flyweight (52 kgs): M Lal (SSCB) bt Gaurav Bidhuri (Del) 21-11; Bantamweight (56 kgs): S Santosh Singh (Man) bt V Durga Rao (Kar) 15-9.
Lightweight (60 kgs): Vikash (RSPB) bt Neeraj Goyat (Tri) 17-10.
Light welterweight (64 kgs): Mandeep (RSPB) bt Manish Pawar (Del) 11-3; Welterweight (69 kgs): Dilbag Singh (RSPB) bt Naveen (Har) 14-6; Middleweight (75 kg): Sukhdeep Singh (Pun) bt Jaideep (SSCB) 17-13; Lightheavy weight (81 kg): Rahul Kumar (MP) bt Jagroop (Pun) 21-10; Heavyweight (91 kg): Manpreet Singh (SSCB) bt Samrat (Mah) 17-8.
Super heavyweight (+91 kg): Satish Kumar (RSPB) bt Praveen Kumar (SSCB). 10-7; Best Boxer: Nanao Singh. Best loser: V Durga Rao (Karnataka). Promising boxer: K Sagar (AP).