Fit-again Thapa raring to strike

Double Olympian Shiva Thapa is eager to get back to the ring. A wrist injury kept him out of action and cost him the Commonwealth Games berth.

The 24-year-old has set his eyes set on the Asian Games, but before that, he wants to notch up wins at the World Series of Boxing's second home leg over the weekend at Greater Noida.

Thapa is part of Indian Tigers, who will take on Patriot Boxing team from Russia on Saturday and China Dragons on April 21 and 22 here. Each bout of the semi-professional league, sanctioned by AIBA, comprises of five three-minute rounds across ten weight categories.

“It was quite disappointing to miss the Commonwealth Games. But I am very happy for our boxers, they put up a superb show. I am completely fit and determined to do well, beginning with the WSB,” said Thapa, who has a World championship bronze to his credit.

Till now, India have sparred against Kazakhstan's Astana Arlans (home and away), and the Patriot Team (away). And though India are yet to find the winning route, they can take heart from their 2-3 defeat to Kazakhstan at home.

Alongside Shiva, World Championship quarterfinalist Kavinder Singh Bisht (52 kg), who was the sole winner in the team’s trip to Kazakhstan for the opening game, will be key to the team's chances.

Besides, Indian Tigers also include 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 on Saturday.

On Sunday Tigers will meet China, who are at the bottom of the standings.

Boxing Federation of India president Ajay Singh said they were keen to build on their good performance at the Commonwealth Games. “WSB is a great platform for our boxers to improve their skills besides helping in reserving additional berths in the 2020 Olympics. This will be our last home leg matches for the season and we want to finish it on a high," Singh said.

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