Boxer Neeraj beats former world champion to reach Russian final

In an astonishing performance, Indian boxer Neeraj beat Italy’s Alessia Mesiano 3-2 to make her way to the final of the Magomed Salam Umakhanov Memorial International boxing tournament in Kaspiysk, Russia.

Facing the 2016 World Boxing champion, the Strandja Memorial bronze medallist from India took the 57kg bout to the final round after both stood on an equal footing throughout the contest.

In the final round, Neeraj - an India Open gold medallist - managed to land a few clear blows to tilt the match in her favour 3-2 and guaranteed herself at least a silver.

Solanki, Sahani shine

It was just as tight for Gaurav Solanki - a Commonwealth Games gold medallist and a silver medallist at the 2019 India Open - earlier in the day as he too managed a 3-2 victory over Russia's Maksim Chernyshev.

After an edgy start, Solanki upped the tempo in the final stages and after a split verdict, booked his place in the last-four round of the 56kg category.

India had another reason to celebrate on the day as Govind Sahani, a 2019 GeeBee Boxing silver medallist, stepped into the semi-finals after he got the better of Tajikistan's Shermukhammad Rustamov in the 49kg category quarters.

Sahani was in control of the match throughout with the referee stopping the match in the third round, making it the first RSC (referee stops the contest) of the tournament.

Meanwhile, Ashish Insha (52kg) lost his quarterfinal bout against Russia's Islamitdin Alisoltanov 1-4 at the final bell while Sanjeet, an India Open gold medallist from last year, had to yield his match against Russia's Daniel Lutai in the opening round after he sustained a cut on his forehead.

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