22-year-old Indian boxer from Saiha in Mizoram, N T Lalbiakkima, made history by defeating the World Number 1 and Olympic gold medalist Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan in the President’s Cup, an international boxing tournament underway in Kazakhstan.
He beat Dusmatov 4-1 in the quarter-final in light flyweight (49kg) to storm into the semi-final to meet Kazakhstan’s Ezahn in the semi-final.
Boxing Federation of India (BFI) treasurer Hemanta Kalita praised Lalbiakkima saying that he has brought laurels to the nation which will boost his confidence as well as encourage other boxers in the country. The federation said that it will prepare Lalbiakkima for the 2020 Olympics.
India and Uzbekistan recently entered a pact for an exchange programme with regards to boxing which will start from next month.
In his last bout on Thursday, Lalbiakkima knocked out Thailand’s Thaani in just 20 seconds.
Lalbiakkima was first exposed to boxing in 2009 when the local cable network LPS vision and Mizoram Boxing Association organized Pro Fight. He has won the tournament four consecutive times, since 2014.
He won the bronze in the 2017 senior nationals, after which he was invited to join the national camp in Patiala. He joined the Navy in 2015 and is based in Mumbai.