Gujarat Giants registered a 4-3 win over NE Rhinos in the Big Bout Indian Boxing League at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium complex here.
Skipper Amit Pangal (52kg) and Chirag (57kg) notched up wins to put Gujarat Giants in front but after Nikhat Zareen (women's 51kg) first and Mandeep Jangra (69kg) cancelled the lead, the team from western India marched to victory on Saturday night.
Nikhat's ploy of winning the toss and blocking the legendary Sarita Devi's 60kg bout against youngster Jony did not bring the desired results for NE Rhinos.
The blocking format has been introduced to bring in a hint of team strategy in an individual sport.
In the bouts featuring the respective skippers, Amit did enough to defeat Laldin Mawia in the 52kg clash, while Nikhat let Rajesh Narwal trade punches in the opening round before showing her technical and tactical superiority to gain a unanimous verdict.
When Chirag, a World Military Games bronze medallist, secured a unanimous verdict over teenager Mohammed Etash Khan in the key 57kg battle, NE Rhinos knew they would come off second best.
It was a scintillating battle that Mandeep had to fight against Ashish Kulheria, silver medallist in the Olympic test event recently.
The fearless Ashish, who replaced Duryodhan Singh Negi in the line-up, gained the upperhand on Mandeep, exploiting the open guard in the first round but the NE Rhinos star tightened his game and turned the tables.
Asian Youth silver medallist Poonam defeated the talented Arshi Khanam 4-1 in the Youth Women's 57kg bout before British champion Scott Forrest waded into Uzbekistan's Ergashev Timur, giving him a bloodied nose, in the 91kg clash to seal a win for Gujarat Giants.
Argentina's Francisco Daniel Veron reduced the margin with a win over Ashish Kumar in the 75kg bout.
Odisha Warriors are currently placed in second spot behind Punjab Panthers on the league table with 10 victorious bouts from three matches.
Gujarat Giants rose to the third place after winning nine bouts from two matches, while NE Rhinos were a rung below with seven wins from two matches.
Bengaluru Brawlers and Bombay Bullets bring up the rear with four wins from two matches and two wins from one match respectively. The top four teams will make it to the semifinals.
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