Shiva Thapa makes a comeback with Indian Tigers as India host second home leg of WSB matches
New Delhi, April 20, 2018
India's boxing fans are in for a rich treat of professional boxing, with the country all set to host two back to back matches in World Series of Boxing (WSB) during this weekend.
The Indian Tigers will take on the Patriot Boxing team from Russia and the China Dragons on April 21 and 22 respectively, in what promises to be an exciting fare of differing styles and techniques.
This is the second home leg and the Tigers will seek redemption against the Russian franchisee after their trips to Kazakhstan and Russia, in their away games, failed to yield any positive response. They will aim to take full advantage of the home conditions and ride on the local support.
The team will have the full service of its best players, right from experienced pugilists to acclaimed stars to a dash of young blood too, which could prove to be a lethal combination.
Leading India's charge against the Patriot's on Saturday will be AIBA World Championship bronze medallist and star boxer Shiva Thapa (60 kg). He marks his return to the squared ring through the professional format boxing and will hope to lead his team's charge.
After missing out on the trip to Gold Coast and suffering an injury-plagued year, this will be Shiva's first professional appearance for the Tigers and he will look to begin with a bang.
"I am confident about my fitness especially after my rehab; this will be the first time I will be out in the ring. This is my first brush with the Tigers and playing the semi-professional circuit after 2014, I am confident that I can make the opportunity count and secure a win," three-time Asian Champion Shiva Thapa said before his Indian Tigers' debut.
Alongside Shiva, World Championship quarter finalist Kavinder Singh Bisht (52 kg) who was the sole winner in the team's trip to Kazakhstan for the opening game, will look to continue his winning run against the Russians too.
Accompanying these boxers, Indian Tigers will also comprise two-time National Champion silver medallist Duryodan Singh Negi (69 kg), Brijesh Yadav (81 kg) and Narender (+91 kg) as part of the card against the Patriot Team (Russia) on Saturday.
"We are glad to be in India and we are sure that it will be an interesting contest. They are a good team and hopefully we can defeat them on their home turf," Andrei Andreev, Promoter of Patriot Boxing Team said before the clash.
On Sunday, the host takes on a team which has registered only a single win yet in their WSB campaign – the China Dragons.
Even though they went on to win a bout against the Russians, the Chinese franchisee sit at the bottom of the group standings after they had to give a walkover in their heavyweight category in their previous encounter.
2014 CWG silver medalist and Arjuna Awardee, Mandeep Jangra (64 kg) will be heading the Tigers' mantle against the Dragons while three-time King's Cup gold medalist Shyam Kumar Kakara (49 kg) will look to bounce back from his defeat from the last match.
Champion find from the first home leg, 19 years old Mohd. Etash Khan (56 kg) who left his opponent with blood oozing out of his head will also look to continue his rampage while Haryana's Sanjeet (91 kg) will look to dominate the heavyweight category. Delhi boy, Rohit Tokas (64 kg) will look for the support from the home fans as he looks to knockout his opponent with his quick jabs and hooks.
"This will be our last home leg matches for the Season and we want to finish it on a high! At the same time the boxers will have a great opportunity to use the WSB platform and prove their potential for the upcoming Asian Games as our preparations for it has already started. Am glad to see champion boxers like Shiva Thapa being part of Indian Tigers while young pugilists of our country are also getting a great exposure opportunity while they get to compete against renowned boxers from all over the world," Boxing Federation of India (BFI) President, Ajay Singh explained.
"Our success at the CWG is a result of the exposure trips and world class training facilities and the WSB platform is yet another sphere where the boxers can learn and more so through WSB we can also reserve additional berths in the 2020 Olympics giving India better chance to take a shot at winning medals at the Olympics," he added.
In the last home game in Rohtak, the Tigers though were on the losing side, slipped narrowly after putting up a staunch fight will now look to up their game with the home support over the weekend.
PROFILES OF FOREIGN PLAYERS
PATRIOT Boxing Team (Russia)
1. Saliev Rasul (52 Kg)- Russian Championship, 2017-Silver
2. Askerov Shamil (60 Kg)- European Youth Champion (19-22 yrs), 2017-Gold
3. Makhmudov Shakhabas (69 Kg)- International Championship in memory of Umakhanov, Gold
4. Silyagin Pavel (81 Kg)- World Championship, 2015-Bronze
5. Egorov Sergei (+91 Kg)- Championship in Russia for 19-22 Years- Gold
1. WU ZHONGLIN (49 Kg)- China Boxing Championship,2015- Gold
2. XU BOXIANG (56 Kg)- China Boxing Championship,2017- Gold
3.QI SHENGZE (64 Kg) – China Boxing Championship, 2017-Gold
4.WULEPAER HAERHENG (75 Kg) – China Boxing Championship, 2017- Silver