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National Boxing Championship turns ugly after headbutt on Shiva Thapa

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Star boxers Laishram Devendro Singh (52kg), Manoj Kumar (69kg) and Shiva Thapa (60kg) stormed into the semi-finals of their respective weight categories at the senior men's National Championship in Guwahati on Sunday.

Shiva's bout, however, turned out to be an ugly one when his opponent Ashok from the All India Police (AIP) allegedly head-butted the local star during their lightweight quarter-final at the Sarusajai Indoor Stadium. Despite winning the contest by a 5-0 unanimous decision, the 23-year-old Shiva's further participation in the tournament was jeopardised after being hit towards the end of the second round.

After completely dominating the first round, Shiva managed to floor his opponent with a volley of punches before a desperate Ashok head-butted him. The injury seemed serious in nature with Shiva bleeding profusely before the ringside doctors attended to him.

The referee, however allowed the bout to continue as Ashok targeted Shiva's face in the final round but the latter managed to keep himself out of the AIP boxer's grasp.

Shiva's father Padam Thapa said the boxer was being treated by the doctors available in the stadium but will proceed to the hospital for further treatment.

"As of now, there is no confirmation from the doctors... we are taking him to the hospital after getting basic first aid," Thapa told IANS after his son's bout.

The senior Thapa further alleged that such boxers often turn up at tournaments just to "intentionally" disrupt prospects of the medal contenders.

"I have seen a number of such boxers coming to tournaments just for that reason (intentionally hurting the opponents) as they are themselves incapable of doing anything in the game," he said.

Earlier, 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj overcame stiff competition from Jammu and Kashmir's Ashish before registering a 4-1 win by split verdict in their Welterweight quarter-final.

The two-time Asian Games bronze medallist used all his experience to thwart any chances of Ashish gaining the upper hand with his height and reach.

"Guwahati is lucky for me...after the gold at the National Games here, I also bagged the same medal recently in the South Asian Games. Hopefully it gets third time lucky for me," he said.

Manipur's Devendro faced a tough fight from Haryana boxer Niraj, before emerging victorious by a 3-2 split decision.

The 24-year-old Asian Championships and Commonwealth Games silver medallist had to sweat hard with his trademark tempo as the Haryana lad matched every punch in the Flyweight category contest.

"Happy that I am now in medal contention. But it was a tough contest. My opponent is a talented one and I am sure he can do well in future tournaments," the diminutive boxer said.

Among others, in the Welterweight category, Ankush Hudda of Chandigarh thrashed Andy Chauha of Mizoram 5-0 while Delhi boxer Prayag Chavhan also emerged victorious over Manish of Madhya Pradesh to enter the semis.

In the Light Flyweight (49kg) division, Akshay of Maharashtra defeated Vipin Kumar of Chandigarh after the referee stopped the bout in first round, while Bahadur Rana of Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) beat Mizoram's N.T. Lalbikkiama with the referee stopping the bout in the second round this time.

Shyam Kumar of Railways Sports Control Board (RSPB) defeated Neeraj of Delhi and Haryana boxer Amit outdid V. Jyoti Swaroop of Andra Pradesh - both with unanimous decisions.