India’s Deepak Kumar, Nishant Dev and Mohammed Hussamuddin finished their campaigns with bronze medals at the IBA Men’s World Boxing Championship 2023 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Friday.

With three bronze, India ranked joint fourth in the medals tally at the prestigious tournament with hosts Uzbekistan (9), Cuba and Russia (6 each) and Kazakhstan (5) taking up the top three spots.

Before the bouts started, there was disappointment for Mohammed Hussamuddin who handed a walkover in the semi-finals due to a knee injury during his quarter-final bout. The Nizamabad boxer returns with a bronze medal.

IBA Men’s Boxing World C’ships: Deepak, Hussamuddin, Nishant – meet India’s three medallists

Meanwhile, Deepak also returned with a bronze after being defeated by a 4-3 split decision after the bout was reviewed against two-time Worlds bronze medallist Billal Bennama. The French boxer prevailed in a really hard-fought 51kg semi-finals bout and will progress to the gold medal match.

The Frenchman had an advantage in the very first round taking it on three out of five of the judges cards. Deepak came back strongly in the second round to turn it around in his favour, convincing three out of five judges. But eventually, the final three minutes that were the deciding factor that the experienced Bennama got in his favour.

In a scintillating campaign in his second World Championships appearance so far, Deepak recorded three wins by unanimous decisions and also toppled the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Saken Bibossinov of Kazakhstan in the Round of 32. In the pre-quarterfinals, playing against Jiamao Zhang of China, Deepak controlled the bout right from the start and ended up winning it by a 5-0 unanimous decision. In the quarter-finals, Deepak defeated Diushebaev Nurzhigit of Kyrgyzstan by a 5-0 unanimous decision to storm into semis.

In yet another closely contested bout, Nishant Dev also returned with a bronze in the 71kg category after reigning Asian champion Aslanbek Shymbergenov of Kazakhstan defeared him with by a 5-2 split decision after the bout was reviewed. Although the Kazakh led the bout 3-2 in the first two rounds, the Indian came back strongly in Round 3 to force a review. However, Shymbergenov had done enough to progress to the finals.

He looked promising in his campaign as he defeated 2021 World Championships bronze medallist Sarkhan Aliyev of Azerbaijan in 71kg with a 5-0 victory. In the pre-quarterfinals, he defeated South Korea’s Lee Sangmin to secure a unanimous 5-0 win. However, it was his performance in the quarter-finals that was most impressive as he beat Jorge Cuellar Of Cuba by a 5-0 unanimous decision.

Earlier on Friday, the Boxing Federation of India said that Hussamuddin was advised to not compete further.

The statement said: “He had a knee injury in the last bout after which he had pain and swelling. After careful and detailed assessment by medical team, Team Management have decided that he won’t take part in the semi final bout which is to take place today as he doesn’t want the injury to aggravate rather recover for future competitions.”

The other semi-finalist Nishant Dev (71kg) will be in action later in the evening and will square off against the reigning Asian champion Aslanbek Shymbergenov of Kazakhstan in the semi-finals.

This is the first edition of IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships that India will have three different medallists.

The prestigious tournament witnessed the participation of 538 boxers, including several Olympic medallists, from 107 countries. The bronze-medallists will be awarded USD 50,000 each.

Indian medalists so far at the men’s Boxing World Championships:

1: Vijender Singh – Bronze – 2009

2: Vikas Krishan- Bronze- 2011

3: Shiva Thapa- Bronze- 2015

4: Gaurav Bidhuri- Bronze- 2017

5: Manish Kaushik- Bronze- 2019

6: Amit Panghal – Silver- 2019

7: Akash Kumar- Bronze- 2021

8: Deepak Bhoria- Bronze - 2023

9: Mohammad Hussamuddin - Bronze - 2023

10: Nishant Dev- Bronze - 2023