Asian Boxing Championship: Thapa, Devendro and Vikas reach semi-finals, qualify for Worlds

Defending champion Shiva Thapa, second seed Vikas Krishan and the fast-rising L Devendro Singh booked medals and World Championship berths by advancing to the semifinals on a mixed day for India at the Asian Championships today.

Devendro (49kg), a silver-medallist from the previous edition of the event, out-punched Cornelis Kwangu Langu of Indonesia 3-0 in his quarterfinal bout.

Shiva (56kg), on the other hand, defeated Kyrgyzstan's Omurbek Malabekov 2-1 in a bout which had to be stopped in the second round due to an injury to Malabekov.

 Asian Boxing Championship: Thapa, Devendro and Vikas reach semi-finals, qualify for Worlds

Devendro (49kg), a silver-medallist from the previous edition of the event, out-punched Cornelis Kwangu Langu of Indonesia 3-0 in his quarterfinal bout. Getty Images

Vikas (75kg), a former World Championship bronze-medallist, eased past Vietnam's Dinh Hoang Truong 3-0 in the evening session.

However, it was curtains for former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar (64kg) who lost 0-3 to Uzbek Fazliddin Gaibnazarov. Also bowing out was former Asian Games silver-winner Manpreet Singh (91kg).

Today's wins assured all the three of a place in the October World Championships in Doha -- the first qualifying event for next year's Olympics.

Even Manoj and Manpreet have a chance of making the cut if their respective rivals manage to reach the final.

"All the three boys who won today were excellent in their performance. All of them have difficult opponents waiting for them in the next round but I am sure they have gained enough confidence to cause upsets," national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu told PTI.

"Even the boys who lost fought with a lot of heart and I am satisfied with the fact that they gave their best," he added.

Starting the day for India was Devendro and the pint-sized dynamo from Manipur was his usual aggressive self, using his right uppercuts and hooks with precision in all the three rounds.

What stood out today was the Commonwealth Games silver-medallist's control. Known to be a tempo boxer, Devendro's aggression was not completely no holds barred.

The nimble-footed pugilist used the uppercuts to break Langu's shell guard and did the scoring with hooks and jabs to advance in the Championship.

Devendro will square off against top-seeded Uzbek Hasanboy Dusmatov in the semifinals.

In the evening session, Shiva was the first to take the ring among the Indians. Faced with an aggressive opponent, the Assam boy did well to keep his composure and not go all out.

Putting his left hook to good use, Shiva outwitted Malabekov on counter-attack before the Kyrgyz boxer had to withdraw owing to a deep cut above his left eye.

Shiva's rival in the last-four stage would be Murodjon Akhmadaliev of Uzbekistan.

Vikas was expectedly clinical in his performance against Truong. A boxer who focusses more on defence, Vikas executed his strategy to perfection against a rather clueless Truong. Vikas will face Iraq's Waheed Waheed Abdulridha in the semifinals, scheduled to be held on September 4.

The Indian did not allow Truong to mount any noteworthy attack with his impeccable shell guard and countered brilliantly by connecting impactful jabs.

However, Manoj went down to Gaibnazarov in his quarterfinal bout. The two-time bronze winner at the event was left with a cut on his forehead during the bout but he fought through to complete the proceedings nonetheless.

Later, former Asian Games silver-medallist Manpreet Singh ended the day on a disappointing note for the country as he went down 0-3 to second seed Rustam Tulaganov of Uzbekistan. Manpreet fought hard in the bout and matched his more fancied rival quite well in the first two rounds but eventually ran out of steam.

Tomorrow, Kuldeep Singh (81kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) will fight their respective quarterfinal bouts.

PTI

Updated Date: Sep 02, 2015 08:53:55 IST