Goyat aims for golden finish

Four months ago, when 20-year-old boxer Neeraj Goyat got an offer to play in the Super Fight League (SFL) challenger, the Haryana pugilist readily accepted the offer.

Goyat's father is a small farmer in Yamunanagar and the extra buck was always welcome, more so as it would help the young boxer meet his training expenses.

So Goyat decided to be part of the SFL challenger, an event in which boxers don't wear head gear and kicking an opponent is legal.

After his 11-10 win over Anil Kvi of Bihar in the semifinals of the 60kg category on Saturday, Goyat said that his decision to switch to the SFL for a short while helped him gain confidence. He will face Vikash of Railway Sports Promotion Board in the final.

"I won a silver medal at the last edition of the National Games but missed the nationals as I had promised my father that I would help him on the farm. Once I finished with my work on the farm there was a short period when there were no competitions and that is when the SFL offer came up. Participating in the SFL helped me gain confidence as you are fighting without head gear. This time I want to win a gold at the nationals," Goyat said on Saturday.

The young boxer also hopes that from here on he will be able to fulfill his potential, something he has failed to do thus far.

"I used to take part in 56 kg but then I shifted to the 60kg. It suits my style now. The bronze medal in the Youth Commonwealth Games in Pune in 2008 helped me a lot. I made my debut in the senior category in 2009 but it was not a smooth transition for me. I had some narrow losses. Last year my silver at the National Games was a high-point and if I win gold here may be there is no looking back for me."

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