Five-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa (63.5 kg) defeated France’s Lounes Hamraoui 4-1 in the pre-quarterfinal at Men’s Boxing World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia on Monday. He will face Turkey’s Kerem Oezmen in the quarterfinal on Tuesday. (Other Sports News)
However, it was curtains for Rohit Mor and Akash Sangwan after suffering defeats in the pre-quarterfinals stage. Mor (57kg) went down to Kazakhstan’s Serik Temirzhanov 1-4.
Sangwan (67kg) too lost 0-5 to Cuba’s former world youth champion Kevin Brown Bazain in a fight that left both the boxers with bloodied faces.
Also exiting the tournament was Sumit Kundu (75kg), who fought valiantly against another Cuban in Yoenlis Hernandez but lost 0-5. Deepak was beaten by Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov, the reigning Olympic and world championship bronze-medallist.
The Indian claimed the second round and was in with a chance to upstage Bibossinov but the Kazakh raised his game just in time to nose ahead.
Mor gave a good account of himself by fighting hard and taking his chances against the technically sound Kazakh, who was especially terrific in the opening round with his attacks. Mor troubled him with his own brand of aggressive tactics, which included some good footwork but he struggled to connect.
Sangwan was equally gritty but lacked in footwork and was perhaps a bit too worked up during the contest. Brown, despite being caught off guard more than once by Sangwan's persistent attacks, was the superior of the two boxers in terms of making counter-attacks.
The Cuban also displayed a strikingly good defence and was a clear winner. Both the boxers ended up sustaining cuts close to their right eyes in the final round.
Later, Sumit started well by pocketing the opening round in a split decision but Hernandez made a superb comeback with his eye-catching uppercuts and body shots that the Indian found difficult to cope with.
Earlier during matches played late in the night on Sunday, Sanjeet and Nishant Dev joined Akash Kumar (54kg) and Narender (+92) in the Last-8 stage with come-from-behind victories.
Having lost the opening round, the boxer from Rohtak, Sanjeet recovered well in time against the Georgian opponent Giorgi Tchigladze not only to win the next round but also the 92kg Last-16 contest 4-1 comfortably in the end.
Similarly, on the other hand, playing in the 71kg pre-quarterfinals bout, debutant Nishant struggled in the early part of the game.
However, the reigning national champion from Karnataka, turned the tables quite handsomely in the later stage of the match with some continuous sharp and precise body blows against the Mexican Alvarez Verde to tilt the result of the closely-fought match 3-2 in his favour.
With just a win away from confirming medals for the country, Sanjeet will now take on Italian boxer Aziz Mouhiidine while Nishant will square off against Russia’s Vadim Musaev in their respective quarterfinal matches on Tuesday.