New Delhi:World number one Vijender Singh (75kg) packed a powerful punch quite literally, while Asian champion Suranjoy Singh also notched up an emphatic win as four Indian boxers sailed into the finals on an all-win day for the hosts at the fifth Commonwealth Boxing Championships here on Monday.
Olympic and World Championship bronze-medallist Vijender led Tanzanian Selemani Kidunda 10-1 before landing a power-packed right hook that left his rival with a head injury, prompting the referee to award the bout to the Indian.
Suranjoy was equally dominating in his triumph over Welshman Andrew Selby although the 4-0 victory margin does not reflect the Manipuri's hold on the bout.
World Cup bronze-medallist Dinesh Kumar (81kg), competing in his first Commonwealth Championships, was the the third Indian boxer to score an easy win and enter the final.
The 23-year-old Haryana pugilist was leading 8-1 against Leonard Machichi before the thrashing became too much to take for the Tanzanian, forcing the referee to stop the contest in the third round of the bout.
In the last bout of the day, Paramjeet Samota entered the super heavyweight (+91kg) category final with a stunning 5-2 triumph over Scot Ross Henderson.
It was a perfect start to the day's proceedings for the Indians when an aggressive Suranjoy took to the ring against an equally spunky Selby. Both the boxers were on the offensive from the start but it was the Indian, who managed to score with a couple of powerful jabs in the first round.
The President's Cup gold medallist Indian added two more points in the second round, using the uppercuts to good effect to penetrate his rival's guard. Both the boxers failed to land a single scoring punch in the third round but Suranjoy kept up the aggression and even taunted his rival by lowering his guard.
"I was trying to provoke him all through and he fell for the trap. He lost his cool and self-destructed. The plan was to be aggressive initially and guard the lead thereafter," the diminutive counter-puncher said after the bout.
Suranjoy will face Oliver Lavigi in the summit clash on Wednesday after the Mauritian defeated Sri Lanka's P D Suresh 3-1 in the other semifinal.
Next up in the ring was Vijender, who was his usual composed self despite being up against a rather aggressive rival in Kidunda.
The nimble-footed 24-year-old Indian used his long reach to good effect and scored mostly through right jabs. After racing to a 4-0 lead in the opening round, he added four more points to his tally in the next three minutes. In the final round, Kidunda had to face a count out when one of Vijender's lusty jabs left him reeling. Another telling blow a few seconds later left the Tanzanian with a head injury making it impossible for him to continue fighting.
"He was aggressive but I keep my cool against such guys and that helps. As for the scoring, I got most of my points from right straights and moved well in the ring to avoid getting hit by him," said Vijender, who felt that the security arrangements were denying the boxers the joy of competing in front of a home crowd.
"People want to relax and have a good time when they come to watch a sport. But here the security is so tight that it puts off an average spectator. Entry is also through tickets, which is another reason the crowds are staying away," he said.
Vijender is now up against England's Frank Buglioni in the final. Buglioni thrashed New Zealand's Nathan McEwen in his semifinal bout.
Dinesh, meanwhile, will take on Scot Callum Johnson, who edged past Mauritian Rodney Prosper 7-2 in the other light heavyweight semifinal.
"I rely mostly on right uppercuts but today I changed my strategy and tried to hit straight as told by my coaches. This is my first Commonwealth Championship and I hope to win a gold," said the 23-year-old Olympian.
In the final bout of the day, Samota, the reigning national champion, put it past a taller and a more powerful Henderson with a combination of jabs and uppercuts. Samota will face New Zealand's Joseph Parker in the final.