#dailynews60 : Odisha Warriors registered a resounding 6-1 victory over Bengaluru Brawlers here on Saturday to stay in the race for a semifinal berth in the Big Bout Indian Boxing League here.
Skipper Jakhongir Rakhmanov and Naman Tanwar posted wins to place Odisha Warriors in the front. And after Simranjit Kaur pulled one back for the Brawlers, youth women’s 57kg national champion Jasmine and a brave Gaurav Solanki won their respective bouts to take their team to victory.
Rakhmanov overturned a sluggish start against Dinesh Dagar to gain a split verdict in the 69kg bout and give Odisha Warriors a winning start while Naman Tanwar beat back a spirited challenge from Reyal Puri in the 91kg as Odisha Warriors showed how eager they were to leave behind memories of losses to Punjab Panthers and Gujarat Giants.
Clearly under pressure after the first two bouts in the seven-bout match, Bengaluru Brawlers heaved a sigh of relief when Simranjit Kaur beat Priyanka Chaudhary in the women’s 60kg bout.
But Jasmine expectedly beat national youth bronze medallist Priti Banekar, cruising to a unanimous points decision to leave Odisha Warriors needing one more win.
Bengaluru Brawlers were hoping that Gaurav Bidhuri would find the winning sequence against Gaurav Solanki in the high-intensity 57kg bout, but those expectations were belied.
Solanki strained his every sinew in a quality clash, showing enormous mental strength in bouncing back from a 2-3 loss to Mohammed Husamuddin two nights ago, as he kept Bidhuri at bay.
Deepak, returning to the Odisha Warriors line-up after missing the clash with Gujarat Giants, was a picture of intensity as he beat Ashish Insah in a unanimous verdict in the 52kg bout.
That gave Odisha Warriors a fifth win for the night, one more than the squad had managed from the two earlier matches put together.
Big Bout debutant Pramod Kumar, replacing Neel Kamal Singh in the line-up, secured the judges’ nod in the 75kg fight with teenager Nitin Kumar to let the Odisha Warriors’ cup of joy overflow on Saturday.
Bengaluru Brawlers were without ace Pinki Rani Jangra, away on national duty in the South Asian Games, but Odisha Warriors chose to block the women’s 51kg bout.
Saturday’s second clash between NE Rhinos and Gujarat Giants promises to draw the fans to the edge of their seats. Nikhat Zareen sparked the NE Rhinos’ turnaround against Bangalore Brawlers 3 and will hope that her team sustains the momentum while the Amit Pangal-led Gujarat Giants are no pushovers indeed, bubbling with confidence after a 5-2 win over Odisha Warriors.