Bombay Bullets displayed urgency and tactical acumen to open up a 2-0 lead with unanimous points victories for skipper Ingrit Lorena Valencia and Naveen Boora in the high-voltage Big Bout Indian Boxing League clash against Bengaluru Brawlers at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium Complex here this evening.
Needing a win to lift themselves from the fifth spot on the table, Bombay Bullets were relieved that both Ingrit Lorena Valencia, a 2016 Olympic Games bronze medallist, and National champion Naveen Boora came up trumps against the hard-working Anamika and Dinesh Dagar in the women’s 51kg and men’s 69kg bouts.
To her credit, the 2018 World Youth Championships finalist Anamika was fearless when squaring up with the Colombian and seemed to hold the edge in the first two rounds. However, the southpaw PanAmerican Games champion used her experience to find gaps in Anamika’s defence and turn the tables on the young Indian for a unanimous verdict.
The second bout was easily the most looked forward to of the seven scheduled for Monday night, given that Dinesh Dagar was looking to settle scores after he had been outfoxed by Naveen Boora in the quarterfinals of the National Championships recently. The Armyman from Hissar held sway as he was well prepared to answer any tactic that his rival came up with.
The 20-year-old Naveen Boora landed punches that impressed the judges in all three rounds, though Dinesh Dagar, the 24-year-old from Railways, staged a fine comeback in the second. It was Naveen Boora’s ability to carry his confidence into his ring-craft that stood out as he swayed out of harm’s way against a desperate Dagar.
As the Bombay Bullets captain, Ingrit Lorena Valencia won the toss and opted to block the men’s 52kg class bout which would have pit her team’s Ananta Chopade against National Championship finalist Ashish Insah. The system of a toss-winning skipper blocking one category is an attempt to bring in team strategy in what is primarily an individual sport.
With two other overseas boxers in the Bombay Bullets squad, Ingrit Lorena Valencia hoped that Naveen Boora, Kavinder Bisht and Prayag Chauhan would deliver more points for her team so that they could lift themselves to the fourth place on the league table behind Punjab Panthers (10 points from two matches), Odisha Warriors (10 from two) and Gujarat Giants (9 from two).