The final day of the Championship was graced by the keen Minister of Sports Hon. Dayasiri Jayasekara and saw the completion of 5 bouts. With over 250 boxers taking part representing over 60 Schools from around the pearl, the Championship is considered as one of quality in the countries Schools Boxing sphere.
The opening bout for the day was contested between RGDN Kumarathunga representing Vidyartha College, Kandy and BGD Sandauwan of Deerananda MV, Pilimathalawa. The bout was a decent one for an opener where the pugilist from Pilimathalawa won on points 2-1.
In the 13-14 years age (35-37Kg) school boys’ category, SSB Weerakone of Rajasinghe College, Panvila faced GKPU Mihiran of Vidyarathana College, Horana which Weerakone won quite convincingly on points 2-1. The School boys 37-39Kg class finals in the same age category was against AH MAduranga(Vidyarathana College, Horana) and GGT Madushan(Nalanda College) which the ring side judges adjudicated to 2-1 in favor of the Nalandian on points.
Moving ahead in the same age category, RPR Kaumal (Gamini Vidyalaya, Ingiriya) faced off SR Gallage(Vidyarathana College, Horana) in the 39-41Kg weight category finals. Gallage seemed in control and landed a few lusty blows on Kaumal which eventually led to, Kaumal being knocked out technically in the 2nd round. The 41-43Kg, weight category final was boxed between BTB Dissanayake (Deerannanda MV, Pilimathalawa) and OTB Kiridena (Trinity College, Kandy). It was a comfortable win for the pugilist from the capital of the hills as his short hand jabs and well directed hooks earned him his win 3-0 on points.
In the 15-16 age group finals, MAM Aseen (Royal College, Colombo) met the gloves of BPVK Sadaruwan (Mayarapada Vidyalaya, Mawanella) in the 48-50kg class where Aseen wiped clean the bout 3-0 on points. The 52-54kg was won by APN Kularatne of Deerananda MV beating KMS Christianz of St. Johns College, Nugegoda.
The bouts took an interesting shade as the age groups increased and the quality of Boxing improved. The bout between GCM Amarasinghe of Vidyartha College, Kandy and KJ Fernando of Mahanama College was quite convincingly the best bout of the day. The Vidyartha pugilist showed why his College has dominated the sport in the schools arena in the recent past when he brought out sheer quality in the way he fought. He seemed quite composed and the better boxer in the ring to a spectator yet, the pugilist from the recently upcoming Mahanama Boxing team was adjudicated the winner on point to a surprising 3-0 score. It wasn’t however surprising after a thrilling bout that GCM Amarasinghe was awarded best loser while KJ Fernando was awarded the Best Boxer of the Championship.
Another interesting bout was the one between GPR Perera (BAndaranayake College, GAmpaha) and WMKK Fonseka (Dharmaraja College, Kandy). The Kandy pugilist had a slight disadvantage as his opposing boxer was taller than him and the disadvantage didn’t take long to show as Perera pelted on his rival from the Blue corner, eventually the towel being thrown by the Corner man, Perera won the bout in the third round.
The final between M Sarmmilan (Mulativu MV) and KMRH Wijeybandara (Trinity College) in the Youth age 17-18/ 52-56kg category was a treat to the eyes. It was impressive to see that the boxer from the Northern province of the country showed great promise. Sponsors in the likes of MAS Holdings should be given due credit for promoting the sport in the war-ravaged parts of the country and the efforts clearly paid off when the Mulativu Pugilist knocked out the Trinitian in the 2nd round to win the bout.
Royal College, Colombo ended at third place while, the Runners up trophy was awarded to Vidyaratha College. The hosts of the event for the second consecutive year, Mahanama College was awarded the Champions trophy having won 4 Gold medals in the Championship.
It is rather sad to pen down on an ending note that the standards of schools Boxing in Sri Lanka have deteriorated. Even after having international pugilists who have represented the country at the Olympics and so on have not made a noticeable impression on the upcoming talent of the country.
Sri Lankan Boxing was of a much higher standard some years back and its sad that the sport has not be given any recognition in the past and it has caused a certain drying out of talent. It is hoped that under the new Sports Minister this situation will be resurrected.