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A Clash of Fists—Fight Night Manipal

Punching before it knocks you out” being the theme to curb substance abuse, MAHE Manipal held its first-ever SBL Fight Night boxing event on the 9th and 10th of April in the MIT Quadrangle. The boxers that fought with the single goal of victory in mind and an audience that was enthralled by their fighting spirit created an atmosphere intense enough to brave the heavy rains of Manipal.

Day 1

The event started with a speech from the Director of MIT, Dr Anil Rana where he introduced the event and the values it stood for. He also went on to speak about Neeraj Goyat and the pivotal role he has played in the promotion of Indian Boxing.

The boxing ring bell was rung to initiate the event and bring upon the stage the first boxers of the night Bhavishri and Rima for the inaugural match. Both fighters started with a strong exchange of blows riling up the audience and putting on a great fight that ended in a draw. Our second set of fighters to step on the stage from the super featherweight category was Lovepreet Singh and Sangeet Bagri, the latter of whom earned a resounding victory.

[Sangeeta Birdi and Neetu Punmagar in an intense tussle during their boxing match] 

The third set of fighters, Nitveer Singh and Ankit Kumar, gave the audience a battle of stamina, as both fighters taunted each other and threw quick punches. The fourth fight brought us to the women’s super feather category with Sangeeta Birdi from the UK and Neetu Punmagar from Punjab. The crowd cheered with excitement as they witnessed the fiery moves that won Neetu the bout.

As Akashdeep Singh and Gurpal Singh stepped onto the ring, the audience witnessed the first light heavyweight match of the night and the fighters did not fail to deliver right up until Akashdeep delivered a strong knockout punch worthy of receiving his victory as well as loud applause from the crowd.

A performance of comedy and dance accompanied the last boxing fight of the night between the students of MIT, Shobith and Omkar. The resulting draw brought Day 1 of Fight Night to an end.

Day 2

The second day of the SBL fight night started with cultural performances to warm up the audience as the seats filled up slowly, and an exhilarating atmosphere covered the venue in anticipation of the big fights.

The opening fight of the night was the light heavyweight category and saw Max Stefan from Germany and Mandeep Dalal going against each other in a tactical match, testing each other and gauging their opponent’s ability. The standstill didn’t last for long as Mandeep went in for the win striking hard and piling up the damage on Max, eventually emerging triumphant.

The second match of the day commenced with Vikas Phangal and Sagar Chand fighting in the super featherweight category we saw the first technical knockout of the event with this match in the favor of Sagar. The next fight in the super middleweight category between Harpal Singh and Jaspreet Singh kicked off with a neck-and-neck battle as the fighters showcased their abilities but Harpal Singh, with a flash uppercut, knocked out Jaspreet Singh and won the match with another technical knockout.

[Boxers Neeraj Goyat and Suresh Pasham in their fiery face-off]

The night grew closer with the special guest for the evening Ritika Singh making her appearance and stirring up the audience with a moving speech. As the anticipation for the final fight reached its climax, Neeraj Goyat and Suresh Pasham made their grand entrance into the ring. The crowd erupted at their sight, ready to indulge in the entertainment these gentlemen were going to provide as an intense match.

The two welterweight category fighters began by testing the waters as they threw light jabs at each other to analyze their skills. Neeraj fought in a composed manner as he attacked meticulously dealing multiple body blows and stacking up the damage on Suresh. As the fight went on Suresh took the initiative to get on the offensive but Neeraj skilfully evaded and entranced the audience with his precise counter attacks .The match was slowly tipping in the favour of Neeraj but Suresh showed no signs of giving up. Round after round, Neeraj stuck to his methodical form gaining the edge over Suresh. Screams of cheers filled the ring and the surroundings as the 3-time WBC Asia titleholder, Neeraj Goyat, emerged the victor.

“Attending this event has rekindled my passion for boxing, next time I’d like to be involved as a participant,” remarked Pranav Bhardwaj, an audience member. The event reached its end with the prize ceremony held to congratulate the victors and motivate all the participant boxers. As the people witnessed what they had desired all the viewers left filled with the memories of an unforgettable fight night.

[Image Credits: MAHE Manipal]

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