CHENNAI: Youth boxer Vanshaj put up a powerful performance against Faridi Abolfazl of Iran to storm into the final of the ongoing Asian Youth and Junior Championships in Dubai, on Wednesday.
First Indian to enter the ring on the day, the Haryana boxer displayed controlled aggression in the opening round, getting used to his opponent and fetching enough points with these explosive combination punches. Vanshaj used his pace and aggression to have his rival on the backfoot throughout the round. His dominance was evident in the scorecard with Vanshaj getting the vote from all five judges.
Vanshaj's approach was more or less the same in the second round. Sensing that he had the upper hand, he was patient and went for explosive punches whenever the opportunity arose. Faridi, who also had a southpaw stance, was clearly rattled by those powerful strikes and was trying to evade him by using the ring space and by delivering occasional counter-punches. Vanshaj had again done enough to get the votes in his favour.
By the time the third round began, Vanshaj's confidence seemed to have soared. He was toying with Faridi, who was again reduced to defending on the bulk of the occasion. Towards the end, both boxers engaged in a tough exchange of punches but Vanshaj emerged victorious by a unanimous verdict (5-0).
In the next match, another Indian in the form of Daksh Singh (67kg) was in action. However, Daksh failed to replicate Vanshaj, losing against Solijonov Samandar of Uzbekistan to settle for bronze.
Later, Vishal (80kg) also put up a comprehensive performance to down Dauren Mamyr of Kazakhstan. With just four boxers in the draw, the boxer from Haryana, who was fighting for the first time in the competition, entered the final and is now assured of at least a silver medal.
Abhimanyu Loura (92kg) lost 0-5 against Uzbekistan's Tokhirov Nusratbek to settle for bronze. Amit Singh (+92kg) also bowed out after losing 0-5 against Uzbekistan's Zokirov Jakhon. Woman boxer Preeti (57kg) beat Narika Rai of Nepal to enter the final. Her namesake, Preeti Dahiya (60kg), also won to enter the final.