Shiva Thapa (60kg) put himself one win away from securing a record fourth medal from the Asian Boxing Championships as a total of five Indian boxers entered the quarter-finals on day three of the continental tournament in Bangkok, Thailand on Sunday.
The Assam pugilist was at his destructive best and outpunched Kyrgyzstan’s Seitbek Uulu M 4-1 to march into the quarter-finals.
Four-time Asian Championships gold medallist Sarita Devi began her hunt for a sixth medal from this event in highly impressive fashion. The 37-year-old blanked Korea’s Gwon Sujin and stormed into the quarter-finals by dint of RSC (Referee Stop Contest).
Agile and sharp as ever, Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal opened his campaign and made it to the last-eight with a 5-0 decimation of Taipei’s Tu Po-Wei in his first continental competitive bout in the 52 Kg. Panghal continues his sublime form this year after starting the new season with a gold at the Strandja Cup.
He will hope to record his second consecutive victory over the reigning Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov in the highly-anticipated quarter-final showdown. That duel will be a rematch of the Asian Games final which Panghal won.
Former world junior champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) was at her best in her opening bout against Cambodia’s Srey Pov Nao. The Telengana pugilist, who also started the season with a gold medal at the Strandja Cup, advanced to the quarters by RSC in Round 2 as she was superior and her rival couldn’t contain the flurry of punches.
In men’s 69kg, Ashish continued his good form with a strong 4-1 win over Abdurakhman Abdurakhmanov of Kyrgyzstan in a split verdict to book his quarter-final berth.
The only disappointment for the Indian contingent on Sunday was the defeat of Brijesh Yadav in 81kg. Yadav’s opponent, Dilshodbek Ruzmetov of Uzbekistan was declared a 4-0 winner after he received a cut in the second round of the bout. That necessitated termination of the match and based on the two rounds of performances, the judges scored in favour of the Uzbek.
Sonia, Lovlina in action on Monday
2018 World Championships silver medallist Sonia Chahal (57kg) will continue her medal hunt against North Korea’s Jo Son Hwa when the quarter-final action begins on Monday. Lovlina Borgohain, who secured a bronze from the New Delhi World Championships, will take on Chinese Taipei’s world champion Chen Nien-Chin in a tough last-eight clash.
After a gold from the GeeBee Boxing tournament, Kavinder Singh Bisht (56kg) will aim to lay his hands on yet another medal. Also in action will be Makran Cup gold medallist Deepak (49kg) and veteran Seema Poonia (+81kg).