Indian boxer Vijender Singh (75kg) won his first International Gold medal in two years as Indian pugilists made a clean sweep in the finals to win the overall team title at the fifth Commonwealth Boxing Championships.
With Asian Champion Suranjoy Singh (52kg), South Asian Games gold medalist Amandeep Singh (49kg), Asian silver medalist Jai Bhagwan (60kg) and Paramjeet Samota (+91kg) also triumphing in the finals, it turned out to be an all-win day for the hosts in front of a houseful crowd.
The Gold rush started early for the Indians when Olympian Dinesh Kumar (81kg) got a walkover against Scot Callum Johonson, who was declared medically unfit due to a right wrist injury this morning. Olympic and World Championships bronze medalist Vijender thrashed England's Frank Buglioni 13-3 despite a bloodied nose. The 24-year-old Haryana boxer, who was adjudged the best boxer of the tournament told that bleeding was just not stopping. He was constantly looking at the judges to see what they might do.
He added that a gold medal after two years is obviously very satisfying. Sharp and swift with this movement, Vijender out-witted his rival, who repeatedly tried to hit him on the injured nose. Scoring mostly through straight right punches and left hooks, the Indian was 3-1 up in the opening round and despite being tentative after injuring his nose, Vijender remained ruthless enough to hit some telling jabs on his opponent.
Buglioni ran out of steam in the final three minutes and Vijender even dared him with an open-guard after taking complete control of the bout. National Coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu told that Vijender is very quick on his feet and that helped him remain in control. As far as the bleeding goes, he would say, god protected him today because the blood was just not stopping despite applying ice.
Earlier, the day started-perfectly for the Indians when Samota eked out a hard-fought 7-3 triumph over New Zealand's Joseph Parker. Samota trailed 0-1 in the opening round but came back strongly with a flurry of straight punches to unsettle his rival. The two boxers were tied 3-3 in the second round but the Indian nosed ahead in the final round as Parker began to tire out.
Samota told that he tried to settle down in the first round and though he was trailing. He was confident of coming back and the massive crowd support also helped him. He began to look tired after the second round and that's when he attacked him the most. Next man in was Amandeep and though he faced an aggressive opponent in Kenya's Peter Mungai, the Punjab boxer kept his cool to notch up a 3-0 triumph.
The 23-year old boxer told that it wasn't as tough as he expected and he was happy about that. He got just three points but then his rival didn't get any. For Suranjoy , it was literally a stroll in the park as he out-clashed his Mauritian rival Oliver Lavigi in just 25 seconds to get the gold medal. The diminutive Manipuri was up 1-0 but didn't know which punch of his left his opponent in no condition to fight. The Asian Championship and President's Cup gold medalist told that he just hit three punches and no clue which one of them got him.
In contrast, Jai had to toil hard and the Haryana-lad even ended up with a cut below his right eye after the 6-2 win over Bahamian Valention Knowles. Knowles was the first to score in the most edge-of-the-seat contest of the day and it was only in the second round that Jai began taking control with a slender 3-2 level. The Indian went all out in the final round, forcing Knowles on the defensive. He told that it was difficult to control punches as its rival was moving so much in the ring. But his fitness levels helped him. Jai dedicated his triumph to good friends and his room-partner Vijender for supporting him in his hours of crisis.
Jai told that Vijender supported him through an injury crisis in 2008 and motivated him to continue. So, th . . . Continued....