India’s Nishant Dev went down fighting 1-4 against the 2021 World Championships silver medallist Omari Jones of USA in the men’s 71kg quarter-finals at the 1st World Olympic Boxing Qualifier in Busto Arsizio, Italy.

A closely fought contest witnessed contrasting first two rounds. Omari dominated the first one effectively using speed to his advantage to secure a perfect 5-0 start.

However, Dev got himself back and looked more effective as the southpaw delivered some good combinations of left hook and jab in what was an action-packed three minutes which involved a lot of holding and grappling. Omari relied on the counter attack but it was Nishant who secured the second round with a 4-1 scoreline.

The final round was intense as Dev continued his aggressive display and took an early advantage. Both the boxers looked tired as the round progressed but Jones made the most use of the final 60 seconds with some effective punches, tilting the decision of the match in his favour.

With Nishant’s loss, India stand at four quotas for Paris Olympic Games 2024 with Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preeti (54kg), Parveen Hooda (57kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) confirming their berths with impressive performances at the Asian Games.

The Indian boxers will get another opportunity to secure the Paris Olympics quotas through the second World Qualification Tournament, to be held in Bangkok from May 23 to June 3.