New Delhi, 23 July 2017: With the tagline of Hit Harder, the action in the Super Boxing League continued tonight as the Mumbai Assassins looked to register their first victory when they took on the North East Tigers in a Group B encounter here at the Siri Fort Squash & Badminton Stadium. The match was a very crucial one for the Mumbai Assassins as they had to win in order to stay in the fight for the semi-finals spot. However, it was the North East Tigers who dominated as they beat the Mumbai Assassins 12-6 in a match which also witnessed one of the most highly anticipated fights in the history of Indian female boxing when North East Tigers’ Asha Roka took on Mumbai Assassins’ Manjit Kolekar in the Super Fly category.
It was the North East Tigers’ Asha Roka who retained her crown of being the undefeated boxer as she beat Mumbai Assassins’ Manjit Kolekar comprehensively, initiating amarvelous comeback for her team as they wont 12-6 after trailing 0-6. Earlier on the night, it was Asif Asad Khan and Pawan Goyat who had given the Mumbai Assassins’ a 6-0 lead after two bouts. But North East Tigers’ Asha Roka, A Naoba Meitei, Jitender Nandal and Ashish Ahlawat, all won their respective matches to win the match 12-6 for their team. The match was witnessed by Mumbai Assassins’ owner Sohail Khan and Bollywood actors Sonal Chauhan, Jas Arora and Vatsal Seth.
The first bout of the night was between Asif Asad Khan from the Mumbai Assassins and Nanao Singh from the North East Tigers in the Feather Weight category. The boxer from the Mumbai Assassins, Asif Asad Khan started the bout on the front foot as he threw some good combinations on his opponent in Round 1 & 2 to set the rhythm for his team. It was important for Asif to win the bout as his team needed the victory on the day if they were to stay in the hunt for the semi-finals of SBL. North East Tigers’ Nanao Singh was not too behind and was looking to hit Khan on the counter. 26-year-old Singh showed some fire in Round 3 and 4 but Khan was always getting the better of him as both boxers enthralled the fans with some mind-blowing action. In a match which could have gone either way, it was Khan who was awarded the victory by Unanimous Decision to give the lead to the Mumbai Assassins.
In the second bout of the night, it was up to North East Tigers’ Basant Thapa to cut down the lead for his team as he faced Pawan Goyat from the Mumbai Assassins in the Welter Weight category. Coming from an Army background, Thapa did not disappoint his team as he started Round 1 with a good strategy. He kept his guard up and tried hitting Goyat on the counter; however the latter did manage to throw some punches on Thapa. Round 2 was equally spread between the two pugilists as they both hit each other with some beautiful combinations, uppercuts and jabs. In the third Round, Goyat got some good jabs as Thapa focused on quality instead of quantity. Pawan, however, got the better of Thapa as he sealed the Round with some great combinations. Round 4 was also electrifying for the crowd as both the boxers produced some great action where Goyat finally managed to land his punches on Thapa as the latter lost momentum. It was Pawan Goyat of the Mumbai Assassins who was awarded the victory by Split Decision as he helped his side take a 6-0 lead after two bouts.
Mumbai Assassins seemed to be in a perfect position as, in the next bout, the Pride of Mumbai, Manjit Kolekar was representing them in the most anticipated bout of the Super Boxing League. She took on North East Tigers’ Asha Roka in the Super Fly Weight category. Both the boxers started Round 1 slowly as Asha stayed patient to land some clear punches, but Assassins’ Kolekar was not going to disappoint her team as she also kept her guard up. Tigers’ Asha Roka started Round 2 aggressively as she hit Kolekar with some good jabs and combinations. The strategy used by Manjit Kolekar did not work for her in the second Round as she was forced back into the corner by Tigers’ Asha Roka, who is known for her counter-punching. Round 3 saw little action as both the boxers maintained their shape; however, it was Roka who took the upper hand as she was taking the initiative. The last Round became the most important one where Roka started the onslaught on Kolekar which resulted in the latter injuring her knee. The referee had to stop the fight as Kolekar was unable to continue, and North East Tigers’ Asha Roka was declared the winner by Unanimous Decision to win the first points of the night for her team.
In the fourth fight of the night, it was the North East Tigers’ A Naoba Meitei who took on Mumbai Assassins’ Siddharth Verma in the Middle Weight category. The former started the fight strongly as he hit some beautiful combinations on Verma in Round 1 & 2. However, the Mumbai Assassins’ man wasn’t going down without a fight as he hit back on Meitei in the latter two Rounds to make it a very interesting match. It was difficult to judge who was the better boxer on the night, but the judges decided to give the victory to A Naoba Meitei by Split Decision. The victory for Meitei equalised the scores for both the teams 6-6.
In the fifth bout, it was North East Tigers’ Jitender Nandal who faced Mumbai Assassins’ Satish Dhull in the Super Middle Weight category. It was an important bout for both the teams as a win for either team would put them into a great position. It was Tigers’ Jitender Nandal who started the bout confidently as he aimed to dent Mumbai Assassins’ chances in SBL. The Tigers’ man took an aggressive approach, which saw him dominate most of the fight with some amazing combinations. At the end of four Rounds, it was Jitender Nandal who was awarded the victory by Unanimous Decision to give the lead to the North East Tigers 9-6.
In the deciding bout of the night, it was Mumbai Assassins’ Evariste who was up against North East Tigers’ Ashish Ahlawat in the Heavy Weight category. Evariste had replaced Assassins’ captain Ram Singh in this match, therefore he had a lot of pressure over his shoulders, and was expected to do well as Mumbai needed a victory in the last bout. However, that was not the case as Tigers’ Ashish Ahlawat kept his good form going as he struck some jabs, hooks and combinations on Evariste. The latter seemed low on confidence and could not handle the blows, as he failed to counter Ahlawat’s punches. It meant that after four Rounds of boxing, Tigers’ Ashish Ahlawat was awarded the victory by Unanimous Decision to give his side a 12-6 victory on the night.