Indian Tigers face Astana Arlans in WSB tie
Rohtak (Haryana), March 23: Indian Tigers will take on reigning champions Astana Arlans of Kazakhastan in a World Series of Boxing (WSB) clash at the National Boxing Academy here on Saturday evening.
The Indian team's campaign will be led by Sanjeet (+91 kilogram), who recently overturned the odds and defeated heavyweights to punch his way to the gold medal in the recently-held India Open in New Delhi.
He will be taking on Abilkhair Turlanbekov.
The Astana Arlans begin as overwhelming favourites. They are not only the WSB reigning champions but had also beaten the Indians in the first leg.
The Indian Tigers will hope to ride on strong home support, with vociferous local fans expected to fill up the ring and cheer every Indian pugilist in the five-bout card.
The Indian Tigers will be served by India Open silver medallist Shyam Kumar Kakara (49kg), who will take on Temitras Zhussopov in a high-octane light flyweight clash.
In the bantamweight (56 kilogram) category, 2017 Asian Youth Championships bronze medallist Etash Khan will look to make his debut on the WSB circuit with a bang.
However, it won't be easy as he is up against veteran Nursultan Koshchegulov of the Astana Arlans.
Greenhorns of the local team Ashish Kumar (75kg) and Dheeraj Singh (64kg) will look to avoid defeats against 2017 World Championship silver medallist Abhikov Amankul and Dilmurat Mizhitov respectively.
In the opening two clashes, the Indian Tigers slumped to identical 1-4 losses, first going down to the Arlans and then succumbing to the Patriot Boxing Team in Russia.
They are are now placed third in the Asia Group, with the China Dragons, the fourth and last team in the group, yet to play a match. They begin their campaign a day earlier, on March 23, when they take on the Russian franchisee.
Each team fights with the other in the group on a home and away basis.