Putting up a determined, stellar performance, pugilist Vijay Kumar recorded a hard-earned victory and punched his way to the semi-finals of the ongoing Elorda cup in Astana, Kazakhstan on Friday.
In what was a fiercely contested bout against Zholdas Zhenissov of Kazakhstan, Vijay (60kg) overpowered his opponent to seal a 3:2 victory by split decision. With the bout being a close affair, it was the attacking brilliance and smart decision-making of the Indian that gave him the edge over his opponent.
He will now go head-to-head against Beknur Ozhanov of Kazakhstan in the semi-finals on Saturday.
In the other semi-final bouts, Keisham Sanjit Singh (48kg), Neema (63kg) and Sumit (86kg) bowed out of the competition with a bronze.
In spite of proper preparations, Keisham and Sumit had to unfortunately give their respective opponents walkovers due to last minute changes to the original schedule.
The Boxing Federation of India has officially sent a complaint to the Kazakhstan Boxing Federation to protest this decision that caused injustice to the Indian pugilists.
On the other hand, Neema went down fighting in her semi-final bout against Laura Yessenkeldi of Kazakhstan.
On Saturday, Sushma (81kg) will face the 2023 World Championships bronze medallist Fariza Sholtay of Kazakhstan in her semi-final bout.