Akash Gorkha (60kg) went down fighting against Dilshod Abdumurodov of Uzbekistan on day one of the 75th Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria on Sunday.
In an intense three-round battle to secure a place in the quarterfinals, Akash began the bout aggressively, testing his opponent in the initial minutes. Dilshod showed patience throughout the bout and used counterattacks by capitalizing on Akash’s shortcomings.
The Indian pugilist came with positive intent in the second and third rounds, forcing a few decisions in his favour but it wasn't enough as Dilshod won the bout with a 4-1 split decision.
On Monday, all six women boxers will start the campaign with their respective round of 16 clash.
Reigning world champions Nikhat Zareen (50kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) will square off against Mongolia’s Oyuntsetseg Yesugen and Ireland’s O’Rourke Aoife, respectively. The Asian Games bronze medallist Preeti (54kg) will face Fay Niamh of Ireland.
Sakshi (57kg) will be up against Selmouni Chahira of Algeria while Manisha (60kg) will go head-to-head against Zidani Amina of France. Arundhati Choudhary (66kg), on the other hand, will commence her campaign against France’s Sonvico Emilie.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Amit Panghal (51kg) will kick off his campaign in a round of 16 clash against Ukraine’s Rudyk Maksym on Wednesday.
Barun Singh Shagolshem (48kg) qualified for the semis after getting a bye in the quarterfinals. He will take on Khenoussi Kamel of Algeria on Saturday to secure a place in the finals.
The Strandja Memorial Tournament is one of Europe’s oldest international sports competitions and is witnessing the participation of over 300 pugilists from 27 countries.