The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) sent a relatively inexperienced squad to the ongoing 2021 AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships in Belgrade. Out of the 13 pugilists that the country has sent to Serbia, only Shiva Thapa has the experience of competing in a World Championships before.
Contrary to the Women’s Boxing World Championships, India has not enjoyed a lot of
success in the Men’s Boxing World Championships. Over the years, the country has won only 6 medals in the event, including 1 silver and 5 bronze.
But, this might change in this edition of the World Championships with a total of 5 Indian pugilists just one win away from a podium finish in Belgrade.
Akash Kumar (54kg), Shiva Thapa (63.5kg), Nishant Dev (71kg), Sanjeet (92kg) and Narender Berwal (+92kg) have displayed some phenomenal fighting skills to enter the quarterfinals of the World Championships in Belgrade. Just one win more and they will be assured of returning back home with at least a bronze medal since there is no bronze medal playoff, and the third position is handed out to both the losing semifinalists jointly.
While the four of them – Akash, Nishant, Sanjeet and Narender, will have boast of the distinction of winning a World Championship medal in their debut appearance if they advance to the final four, there is much more at stake for Shiva Thapa. Having missed out on the Tokyo Olympics after Manish Kaushik bagged the 63kg quota for the quadrennial event, this is Thapa’s shot at redemption.
If the 27-year-old manages to enter the final four he will become the first Indian man to have won two AIBA World Boxing Championships medals, having won bronze back in 2015.