Haryana Warriors registered a much-needed first win against the OPM Punjab Sultans with a margin of 15-6 to open their account on the points table in an action-packed Super Sunday in the Super Boxing League at the Siri Fort Squash and Badminton Stadium here today.
Haryana Warriors’ Sandeep Bhagri, Parmod Kumar, Anita Kumari and Sukhdeep Singh were all winners in their respective categories to give their team an important three points to keep pace with Delhi Gladiators and OPM Punjab Sultans. Sultans’ Sagar Narwat and Sumit Rangi were the only boxers for their team who got the victory on the night as Warriors ran away with the tie.
OPM Punjab Sultans were high on confidence before the match as they had won their first match against UP Terminators on the second night of SBL. Whereas, the Haryana Warriors had lost their first game against Delhi Gladiators on the opening night of the league. Therefore, it was important for the Warriors to make a statement and win their second match of Super Boxing League to stay in contention for a semi-final spot.
In the first fight of the day, Haryana Warriors’ Sandeep Bhagri faced OPM Punjab Sultans’ skipper Amandeep Singh in the Feather Weight category. The first Round saw both the boxers starting strongly as there was heavy exchange of punches. However, it was Singh who dominated the Round as he hit the better punches. Round 2 saw lesser action in terms of punches being exchanged as both the boxers tripped and slipped. The action continued in Round 3 as Bhagri took the initiative to make a statement as he hit some barging blows on Singh to put the tie on equal terms. Both the boxers had to go for it in the fourth Round to get the win for their team. It was 21-year-old Bhagri who was the aggressor as he needed some important blows to win the bout. This meant that it was Haryana Warriors’ Sandeep Bhagri who was declared the winner by Split Decision to give his side an early lead.
I t was now up to OPM Punjab Sultans’ Nikhal Bhatt to cut short the lead for his team as he faced Haryana Warriors’ Parmod Kumar in the Welter Weight category. However, Kumar had other plans in mind as he aimed to keep his team’s grip on the match by starting the first Round strongly. The Haryana Warriors’ man hit some barging blows on Bhatt to stay on top in the first Round. The second Round turned out to be even better for Kumar as he started to get into a nice rhythm. This resulted in Bhatt receiving a combination of jabs just two minutes into the second Round, and falling down. It meant that the referee counted out Bhatt, and awarded Parmod Kumar with a Knock Out victory. Kumar had replaced injured Warriors’ skipper Neeraj Goyat and he performed excellently to extend Haryana Warriors’ lead to 9 points.
The third fight saw Super Boxing League’s women in action as Haryana Warriors’ Anita Kumari took on OPM Punjab Sultans’ Saroj Bugalia in the Female Fly category. Bugalia had earlier won her first fight of the SBL when she beat Terminators’ Sulav Magar. Therefore, it was important for debutant Anita Kumari to start the first Round on the front foot if she had to defeat the 24-year-old Bugalia. Warriors’ Kumari did not disappoint her team as she dominated the first two Rounds, showing her technique to hit some accurate punches. The 19-year-old southpaw hit some good combinations on Bugalia in Round 2 to make the fight interesting. However, Bugalia was focused on hitting some jabs which she couldn’t quite get in target. Round 4 saw a similar story as Kumari aimed her punches well, but Bugalia’s punches were very well dodged by her opponent. This meant that the referees decided to award the victory to debutant Anita Kumari by Unanimous Decision, extending Haryana Warriors’ lead to 12 points after three bouts.
The fourth fight saw Haryana Warriors' Sandeep Nain take on OPM Punjab Sultans' Sagar Narwat in the Middle Weight category. In the first Round, both pugilists kept their shape in order to not give-in to their opponents' initial attacks but Sultans’ Sagar Narwat was able to control the fight by the scruff of its neck as he threw some heavy body shots on Sandeep Nain. Round 2 saw both the boxers giving some good combinations to each other but the Round belonged to Narwat as he hit his opponent harder with each blow. Round 3 was important for Nain if he to make a comeback, and he did not disappoint as he barged Narwat on every opportunity he got. But it was Narwat who kept his shape through Round 4 to win the fight by Split Decision to open his team’s account on the night with an important 3 points as the scores read 12-3 in favour of Haryana Warriors.
The fifth fight of the night was between Haryana Warriors’ Sukhdeep Singh and OPM Punjab Sultans’ Manohar Basnet in the Super Middle Weight category. It was an important bout for both the teams as a win for either boxer would decide the final outcome of the match. Warriors’ Sukhdeep Singh took the initiative early on as he produced somemarvelous combinations to put pressure on Basnet in Round 1 and 2. However, Basnet chose to hold on to his composure in the next two Rounds. The debutant Sultans’ boxer kept his guard up when it mattered, but it was not enough to keep out the heavy body shots and jabs that Singh produced. Thus, the final result was in favor of Haryana Warriors’ Sukhdeep Singh as he was awarded the win by Unanimous Decision which saw the Haryana Warriors lead OPM Punjab Sultans 15-3, meaning that the former had secured the victory on the night.
The last fight of the night was a mere formality as Haryana Warriors had already won the tie. In the Heavy Weight category, OPM Punjab Sultans were represented by Sumit Rangi and Haryana Warriors were represented by Arminder Singh. The Sultans’ man started the first two Rounds on the front foot, retaining the confidence he got from his first win of the SBL last weekend against UP Terminators. Rangi was always on the attack until Round 3, as he hit some smacking blows on Singh to put the bout to bed. Singh, on the other hand, was finding it difficult to deal with Rangi’s onslaught. Round 4 was all about keeping the composure for Rangi, and not conceding, as he had already brought Singh to a state where the referee could have stopped the fight to give a Technical Knock Out victory to Rangi. However, Singh held on until the end of the fight, and Sultans’ Sumit Rangi was eventually awarded the win by Unanimous Decision to make it 15-6 in Warriors’ favour on the night.