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Sanjeewa Rajakaruna, Nadeeka Ranasinghe adjudged Best Boxers at Layton Cup 2022

Reigning National boxing champions Sanjeewa Bandara Rajakaruna and Nadeeka Ranasinghe underlined their growing stature in the domestic ring when they were adjudged the most scientific men and women boxers respectively at the 80th Layton Cup Boxing Championship held at Royal MAS Arena yesterday.

This is the first major boxing competition conducted by the Boxing Association of Sri Lanka after a lapse of two years since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. It also served as the second selection trial for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Sanjeewa who upset experienced Sri Lanka pugilist Dinidu Saparamadu at the 2020 Boxing Nationals, lived up to his number one ranking in the Light welter (under 63.5kg) weight class by outpointing Navy’s DLPR Kumara for the second consecutive time with a dominant performance to carry away the coveted Layton Cup awarded to the Best Boxer of the meet. Kumara fought tooth and nail in this close contest and was consoled with the Best Loser’s award in the men’s division after losing by a split decision.

Nadeeka Ranasinghe representing Vidyarathena SC, the best boxer at the last two National championships, after a slow start outpoint her rival displaying superior ringcraft against an Army private Sanduni  Priyadarshani  in the Light Fly weight (under 48kg) women’s final to be adjudged the Best Boxer. Priyadarshani who fought back relentlessly was consoled with the Best Loser’s award.

Police’s Gayan Prabath Rathnasiri scored an impressive win over 2019 South Asian Games gold medalist Rumesh Sandakelum in a rousing Light Heavy weight (under 80kg) contest. Southpaw Sandakelum, stunned Rathnasiri with a classic right hook early in the bout. Rathnasiri not only recovered from the wobble but took the fight to the tough soldier tactically outsmarting his rival countering with speedy combinations and preventing the soldier from landing heavy artillery.

Four-time Stubbs Shield champion Nuwan Jinadasa of Kingswood BC was unlucky to be on the losing side of a split decision against a veteran Army pugilist Thilina Weerakkodi in a closely contested Feather weight (under 57kg) contest. Weerakkodi used his brawn to overpower his young adversary who showed class.

Another youngster Pasindu Umayanga Mihiran gave a dazzling performance in the run-up to the finals but came up short in the Minimum weight (under 48kg) final against Army’s Sajeewa Nuwan who avenged his loss to the Vidyarathena SC boxer in the first Commonwealth Games Selection Trials held in December. Mihiran displayed sublime footwork and body movements but lacked the killer instinct unlike Sajeewa Nuwan who landed calculated blows to the body and head to get the nod of the judges.

General Jagath Jayasuriya, former Commander of the Army and the Chairman of Boxing Selection Committee graced the occasion as chief guest and gave away the trophies and special awards.

Results

MEN – FINALS

Super Heavy weight (Over 92kg) – ARBE Thilakarathna (Army) beat MWMM Meegasthenna (Air Force) WP (win on points) 5:0

Heavy weight (Under 92kg) – PARS Rupasingha (ArmY0 beat IDDSW Waidyarathna (Army) WP 3:2

Cruiser weight (Under 86kg) – YSP Sudamma (Army) beat HRCN Bandara (Army) WP 5:0

Light Heavy weight (Under 80kg) – HWWG Rathnasiri (Police) beat WAR Sandakelum (Army) WP 4:1

Middle weight (under 75kg) – WMGKGI Ariyarathna (Navy) beat WGNC Wijenaga (Air Force) WP 5:0

Light Middle weight (under 71kg) – V Niklas (Army) beat JAG Maduranka (Air Force) WP 5:0

Welter weight (Under 67kg_) – IPDC Udayakumara (Air Force) beat PMLL Chandrabandara (Army( WP 4:1

Light Welter weight (63.5kg) – RWMSB Rajakaruna (Army) beat DLPR Kumara (Navy) 3:2

Light weight (Under 60kg) – NBAJ Wimukthi Kumara (Army) beat PPS Siriwardhana (Army) WP 5:0

Feather weight (57kg) – WRT Weerakkodi (Army) beat TG Jinadasa (Kingswood BC) 3:2

Bantam weight (54kg) – PAR Prasanna (Army) beat KH Navoda (Navy) RSC (Referee Stoped Contest) R3

Fly weight (51kg) – MVIRS Bandara (Army) beat RMP Dharmasena (Army) WP 4:1

Minimum weight (Under 48kg) – MPG  Sajeewa Nuwan (Army) beat GPU Mihiran (Vidyarathena SC) WP 4:1

WOMEN FINALS

Light Heavy weight (Under 81kg) – KAGN Kaluarachchi (Air Force) beat GGAM Jayasingha (Flexi) RSC R2

Feather weight (Under 57kg) – MPSS Cooray (Air Force) beat BU Sewwandi (Flexi) ABD (abandoned) R2

Bantam weight (54kg) – KKIT Perera (Air Force) beat MGMT Dasunika (Army) WP 5:0

Light Weight (Under 48kg) – RAN Pushpakumari (Vidyarathena SC) beat HS Priyadarshani (Army) WP 4:1