Sri Lanka – Russia Boxing Dual Meet Saman’s surprise punch
By M. Shamil Amit

When Sri Lanka were back to the wall in their dual boxing meet against Russia Saman Priyadarshana de Silva sent the Sri Lankan boxing fans wild with a shocking victory over four time World Youth Champion Pavel Drobyshev in the 57kg Bantamweight bout at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium yesterday.

The bout which was the last one on the card was a sure win for the Moscow Bears taking into consideration the record of Drobyshev who came in to the meet with an extraordinary record of having won the World Youth Champion on four occasions from 2004 to 2007.

Apart from that Drobyshev has won the Russian Cup twice and won a gold medal in their dual boxing meet against another boxing giant in Cuba.

But it was not to be as Sri Lanka Lion’s Saman Priyadarshana gave little chance for his tough opponent to make any headway. Saman in fact was a replacement to experience Kamal Sameera who is the Sri Lanka champion who pulled out at the eleventh hour due to illness and was taking part in an international meet for the first time.

But he did not disappoint his inclusion as he fought the fight of his life evading and dodging powerful left hooks and converting them to his advantage. The first of the four round bouts gave some indication that it was going to be a close one.

The two pugilists ended the first one without scoring and in the 2nd round Saman Priyadarshana drew first blood when he received two points for a foul by his opponent. From there on he did not look back.
With support and cheers coming from the home supporters he slowly began to increase his lead with the second and third round ending with the identical score of 4-1 in favour of him.

World champion Drobyshev made desperate moves and was aiming on a knockout but the cunning Saman Priyadarshana held on to by taking advantage of his height to end the bout with a 7-2 win.

The seven bout duel meet (three women and four men) began for the Sri Lankan Lions on a positive note with Anusha Kodituwakku winning the 46kg Pin weight bout over her opponent Svetlana Gnevanova 6-1.
But it was all that they could do as the Moscow Bears swept the boards winning the five bouts in a row with ease. Some of their boxers in the men’s category were debutants at international meets and their approach was of professional level. But all was overshadowed by the scintillating performance of young Saman Priyadarshana. Moscow Bears apart from winning the Shermans Logistics trophy took the award for the best boxer in both the men’s and women’s categories.

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