Two-time Commonwealth bronze medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin and 2021 Asian Youth champion Bishwamitra Chongtham put up dazzling performances to secure their berths in the quarter-finals of the ongoing 74th Strandja Memorial International Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria on Thursday.

Hussamuddin faced Michele Baldassi of Italy in his round of 16 match of the 57kg category. Starting out on the front foot, the Italian displayed his attacking intent from the get-go and made the first round a closely contested affair.

However, the Telangana-born pugilist utilized his experience and technical ability to make a stellar comeback in the second round by landing a flurry of punches and defending his opponent’s jabs sternly.

Continuing that momentum, Hussamuddin took charge of the final round too, and secured a 4-1 victory. He will take on Bazeyan Artur of Armenia in the quarter-finals on Friday.

In the 51kg category, Bishwamitra squared off against Kenzhe Muratuly of Kazakhstan in what was a rematch of the 2021 Asian Youth championships quarter-finals where the Indian had defeated his opponent by a split decision.

The young pugilist produced a similar match-winning display against the Kazakh by dominating the bout with his quick movement and supreme attacking technique. He clinched a deserving 5-0 win by unanimous decision and will now face Roach Jordan of the USA in his quarter-final bout on Friday.

In the other round of 16 bout, the 2021 Asian champion Sanjeet suffered a defeat by knockout in the first round against Talley Jamar of the USA in the 92kg category.

Later on Thursday night, four Indian male pugilists will be in quarter-finals action.

The 2022 National champions duo of Govind Kumar Sahani (48kg) and Akash (67kg) will be facing the two-time Asian champion Nodrijon Mirzakhmedov of Uzbekistan and Sebastian Terteryan of Denmark respectively.

The 2021 World Youth Champion Sachin will take to the ring against Muzafarov Shakhzod of Uzbekistan in the 54kg category while the 2022 Asian Championships bronze medallist Narender will face Mahammad Abdullayev of Azerbaijan in the 92+kg category.

Late on Wednesday night, the 2018 World Championships bronze medallist Simranjeet Kaur and Jyoti recorded identical 5-0 wins to progress to the quarter-finals. While Simranjeet defeated Danielle Scanlon of Australia in the women’s 60kg category, Jyoti triumphed over Nozimakhan Bultrova of Uzbekistan in the 52kg category. Both pugilists will contest the quarter-finals on Friday.

Arundhati Choudhary, on the other hand, went down fighting after a 1-4 defeat against Caitlin Parker of Australia in the 75kg category.

The prestigious tournament is witnessing the participation of 398 pugilists, including 256 men and 142 women which is the highest ever in the competition’s history.