Cuban Youth Olympics gold medallist, Rahul Poonia (49kg) continued his winning spree as he went on to make place in the finals of the light fly weight category at the Youth Commonwealth Games in the Isle of Mann. But there was disappointment for India in the middle weight category as, reigning Youth National Champion Surender Singh had to settle with a bronze medal performance at the games having lost his semi-final bout.
Poonia was up against Nyiko Ndukula of South Africa in the semi-finals. Ndukula was no match for the Indian boxers, who displayed his mastery of the craft with an exceptional performance. The former Junior National Champion, dominated proceeding from the get go. With his three punch combination he powered through the fragile defence of the South African boxer to advance to the last stage of the championship. The 16 year old won 26:8 on points to set up a title clash with Jack Bateson of England and with this win, Poonia is assured of at least a silver medal. The promising English boxer who made it to the quarter-finals of the European Youth Champion ship is expected to be a tough opponent and Poonia will have to dig deep to get past this lad. All indications are for an enthralling contest.
?It was a good win for me. I was connecting my punches and my strategies? worked very well for me. I am quite confident going into the finals and will do my best to claim the gold medal?, expressed an elated Poonia after his bout.
In the middle weight division though, Singh (75kg) lost his semi-final bout to Grant Quigley of Scotland. The Cuban Youth Olympic gold medallist was completely at bay against the Scottish boxer, who took complete advantage of the Indian?s lack of form. In the end the 17 year old lost 15:24 on points. Surender will have to be content with a bronze medal finish.