Sports World

Boxer Gaurav goes down in World Championship semis

Indian youngster Gaurav Bidhuri went down 0-5 to Duke Ragan of USA in the semi-finals of the bantamweight (56 kilogram) category at the World Boxing Championship here on Thursday.

Bidhuri, who had to settle for a bronze, missed out on a chance to create history as he would have become the first Indian to enter the final at this biennial mega event if he had managed to win.

The 24-year-old, who was making his debut in the senior World Championships, became the fourth Indian boxer after Vijender Singh, Vikas Krishan and Shiva Thapa to finish on the podium at this prestigious tournament.

Vijender became the first Indian boxer to clinch a medal at the World Championships in 2009 while Vikas took bronze in 2011 and Thapa in 2015.

Although his American opponent ultimately clinched a unanimous decision, Gaurav did give a good account of himself and the difference between the two boxers was not as big as the final scoreline suggests.

Four of the five judges gave 30-27 verdicts in favour of Ragan while one scored it at 30-26.

The 19-year-old Ragan, touted as one of the brightest upcoming stars in ameteur boxing, is also making his first appearance at the senior World Championships.

Both boxers were a little defensive in the early stages of the first round. Gaurav started to become slightly aggressive after the first minute, looking to trouble the American with his punching speed with Ragan hitting back on the counter on a couple of occassions.

Ragan hwoever, was clearly the better boxer in the second round, using his strong defence to absorb repeated attacks from Gaurav while using quick counters to land his punches on regular occassions.

Gaurav continued with his aggressive style in the third and final round, but the American used his superior technique tp maintain his dominance.

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