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From South, AP boxers settle for bronze at Nationals

In what could be a first for Andhra Pradesh, the state's pugilists have made a significant mark by being the only boxers from South India to make a mark at the nationals. Usually, boxing is a sport that has been prominent in the Northern as well as Eastern parts of India, rather than the South. However, with Andhra Pradesh entering the scene, the South now has created a space for itself in the sport.
 
Andhra Pradesh's boxers finished their campaign in the 3rd Youth Boxing Nationals in Rudrapur, Uttarakhand, with two bronze medals in the girls’ section.In the 64 kg welter category semifinal which took place on Wednesday, Andhra Pradesh’s B. Mounika went down to Manipur’s Menaka Devi in the first round itself as the referee stopped the contest.
 
The state's second boxer in the semifinals was D. Thanmai, who was defeated (RSC) by Punjab’s Komal in the 81kg Heavy weight category. In other bouts, nine Service boxers, led by India's frontline youth pugilists Vijay Deep and Bhavesh Khattimnani, ensured almost a whitewash win as they secured final berths. 
 
Meanwhile, last year’s Youth world Bronze medalist Khattinmnani ousted local boxer Sanjay Kumar, displaying a lethal attack and sealing the bout in his favour with a unanimous 5:0 win. He will next take on Haryana’s Ankit in the 52kg summit clash. 
 
Fellow SSCB boxer, Deep, a bronze medallist at the Golden Glove Boxing Championships in Serbia, did not have much to toil as his opponent faced a round 1 exit with a power, packed knock-out punch. However, the only other services player who failed to make it to the final was Satender Sindh after losing to his opponent, Harsh Gill (91kg) from Haryana in a split verdict. 
Haryana stands in second position with seven of their boxers cruising into the finals while two boxers from Delhi and one each from Assam and Uttar Pradesh also have assured berths in the summit clash.
 
Assam’s Bullen Buragohain (56kg) advanced to the finals after a thrilling encounter against Chandigarh's Parveen Singh with a split verdict of 4:1 from the judges.In the women’s category, Haryana continued their dominion with as many as seven boxers guaranteeing finals berth. 
 
However, it was the performance of the young boxers from Rajasthan that stole the show as five of the girls qualified for the finals. Led by Arundhati Chaudhuri, who was voted the best youth women boxer of Asia in 2018 by Asian Confederation of Boxing (ACB), the girls gave a tough fight to their opponents.

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