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Bhilai pip Tata to boxing gold

Bhilai Steel Plant beat Tata Steel to win the senior menís inter-steel plant boxing championship, which concluded at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on Friday evening.

Hosts Tata Steel, however, managed to salvage some pride by claiming the sub-junior boysí title punching out Vizag Steel Plant, which finished second.

In the senior menís final, Tata Steelís Amit Shukla got the better of Bhilai Steel Plantís R. Pramod in the 49kg bout, while Vizag Steel Plantís J. Bhaskar defeated Durgapur Steel Plantís Vibek Kumar in the 52kg bout.

Apart from Shukla, however, all pugilists from the host team cut a sorry figure with Jeetender Varma, S. Rajnish and Ayush Kumar all losing their bouts in the 56kg, 69kg and 75kg weight category respectively.

The losing streak continued in the 81kg fights, with Shahbaz Khan being blanked out by Suresh Kumar of Bhilai. Pradeep verma too had to be content with silver after losing to Vizagís Mehtab Khan in the 91kg bout.

Controversy, however, marred the 64kg weight category bout with coaches of both the competing boxers ó Amar Bahadur of Durgapur and Bhilaiís Md Faiz ó having a verbal duel with the referee. Senior officials of Tata Steelís sports department had to intervene with the jury finally awarding the bout to Bahadur.

The prizes were handed over to the winners by managing director of Jusco Ashish Mathur in the presence of Tata Steel sports department head Captain Amitabh and other functionaries.

District meet

The East Singhbhum District Boxing Association (ESDBA) on Friday announced that it will hold a two-day district-level boxing championship at JRD Tata Sports Complex from Saturday.

Over 70 pugilists from six affiliated units of ESDBA are expected to compete in the event under various weight categories.