Silver day for Indian boxers

Vijender, Mandeep, Sarita and Devendro lose in gold medal bouts

Silver day for Indian boxers
It turned out to be a very disappointing Saturday for Indian boxers as all four pugilists on the day were forced to settle for silver at the 20th Commonwealth Games here.

Taking the ring first amongst the quartert, Laishram Sarita Devi lost to Shelley Watts of Australia after a gritty fight in women’s lightweight (57-60kg) category final while her younger brother Devendro Singh was beaten by Paddy Barnes of Northern Ireland in the men’s light-flyweight (46-49kg) final at the Hydro Arena.

Mandeeo Jhangra then was pummelled by England’s Scott Fitzgerald in the men’s welterweight (69kg) before Vijender, who fought the final bout, was stunned by Anthony Fowler in the middleweight (75kg) category.

Meanwhile, Devendro was no match for Barnes and the unanimous 3-0 verdict in favour of the Irish reflected that.

With the four silver on Saturday, India has bagged five medals from boxing with Pinki Jangra having won a bronze after losing her semifinal bout against Michaela Walsh of Northern Ireland in women’s 51kg category on Friday.

Sarita, a former World Championships silver medallist, dished out a gritty fight as she was on level terms till the midway in the four-round eight-minute bout.

The Manipuri mother of a son, however, lost steam in the later stages and was out-punched by her stronger and taller opponent to settle for a silver. Sarita lost 0-3 in a unanimous verdict of the three judges.

Sarita received a flurry of punches from Watts in the third and fourth rounds which rattled the Indian and that tilted the scale in favour of her Australian opponent. All the three judges’ identical cumulative scores of 39-37, 39-37, 39-37 were in favour of the Australian. 

Devendro again was beaten by 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympic bronze medallist Barnes who was victorious in the quarterfinal stage of the 2012 London Olympics. The 22-year-old Manipuri had come prepared that he would fight against his older ‘friend’ Irishman at one stage of the tournament and it was once again Barnes who won by a unanimous 3-0 verdict of the three judges.

Devendro was at his aggressive self on Saturday also but his inferior defence let him down as Barnes began to land his punches on the Indian, who was the shorter of the two. The first two rounds went in favour of Barnes though Devendro tried to make a match out of it.

To his credit, the feisty Devendro never gave up and he even got the nod from two judges but that was that too late in the day to make a fightback against his experienced opponent.
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