Indian pugilists Akash Sangwan (67kg) and Nishant Dev (71kg) secured comfortable wins and moved to the pre-quarterfinals of the IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships 2023 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Saturday.

Akash was facing Fu Mingke of China in the round of 32 match. The Indian boxer was quicker than Fu, right from the start and landed some heavy blows on his opponent. Akash played from distance and evaded Fu’s punches throughout the bout.

The last round saw a desperate attempt from the Chinese boxer to mount a comeback but Akash comfortably dealt with him and won 5-0 via unanimous decision. He will take on Kazakhstan’s Dulat Bekbauov in the last-16 stage on Tuesday.

In the Light middleweight round of 32 bout, Nishant Dev squared off against South Korea’s Lee Sangmin. The Indian boxer, who had defeated world bronze medallist Sarkhan Aliyev of Azerbaijan in the previous round showed his technical versatility today. He played the patience game in the first round and gauged the strategy of his opponent while landing enough punches to win the round.

The last two rounds saw both the pugilists exchange some heavy blows but Nishant was the more accurate of the two boxers and secured a unanimous 5-0 win for India. The southpaw will be up against Palestine’s Foqahaa Nidal in the pre-quarterfinal on Tuesday.

On Sunday, four Indians- Deepak (51kg), Mohammad Hussamuddin (57kg), Sumit (75kg) and Narender (92+kg) will be in action.

Deepak will face Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist and 2021 World Champion Saken Bibossinov in the round of 32 match-up whereas Hussamuddin will fight it out against Russia’s Savvin Eduard in the pre-quarterfinal. Sumit will start his campaign in the round of 32 bout against Russia’s Pavel Sosulin while Narender will square off against Arzola Lopez of Cuba in the last-16 stage.

The ongoing tournament is witnessing the participation of 538 boxers, including several Olympic medallists, from 107 countries.