Amandeep and Jai Bhagwan booked berths in the semifinals of the XXX Energy Drink Commonwealth boxing championship at the Talkatora Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.
This ensured two more medals for the host. However, seasoned pugilist Akhil Kumar's exit came as a big shock for the home side. In a tough 56 kg bout, Akhil lost 6-12 to young English boxer Ian Weaver.
The 28-year-old Indian took a 3-0 lead before conceding two points in the dying seconds of the first round. Twenty-year-old Weaver, having studied Akhil well, banked on counterattacks and garnered four opportunistic points to take a slender lead of 7-6 in the second round. Akhil's desperation in the third round only favoured his opponent.
Akhil complained that Weaver was not given a warning even though his gum shield had come off his mouth during the bout. “Had he got a warning, I would have earned two points. That would have changed the game,” the World Cup bronze medallist said.
However, India's Chief Coach G.S. Sandhu, who had earlier agreed with Akhil, clarified that as per rules a boxer was not given a warning if his gum shield came off for the first time.
Amandeep outshone Tanzanian Rajabu Mbwana 9-1. The South Asian Games gold winner won hearts with his clean technique and smart moves. In the semifinals, Amandeep will meet Redzuan of Malaysia.
Jai Bhagwan maintained his winning streak to get past Josh Taylor of Scotland 7-1. The Indian delivered some spectacular hooks to build a lead of 3-0 in the first round and 4-0 in the next.
In the final round, Taylor was issued a warning for delivering a below-the-belt punch on Jai Bhagwan, who gained two points because of the incident. The Asian silver medallist will take on Danny Phillips of England in the semis.
In the last bout of the day, Manpreet Singh was beaten 1-6 by Scotland's Stephen Simmons.
The results: 49 kg: Bathusi Mogajane (Bot) bt T.M.C. Thennakoon (SL) 14-1, Peter Mungai (Ken) bt Iain Butcher (Sco) 4-0, Amandeep (Ind) bt Rajabu Mbwana (Tan) 9-1, Redzuan (Mas) bt Afzal Hossen (Mri) 7-2.
56 kg: Bruno Julie (Mri) bt Muhammad Solihin (Sin) RSC-OC (R2), Ian Weaver (Eng) bt Akhil Kumar (Ind) 12-6, Tirafalo Seoko (Bot) bt Martin Odur (Ken) 2-1, M.D.K. Wanniarachchi (SL) bt Michael Roberts (Sco) 8-4.
60 kg: Joseph Njohu (Ken) bt Nort Beauchamp (NZ) 3-1, Valention Knowles (Bah) bt Gunathilaka (SL) 8-2, Jai Bhagwan (Ind) bt Josh Taylor (Sco) 7-1, Danny Phillips (Eng) bt Darren Edwards (Wal) 10-2.
64 kg: Chirs Jenkins (Wal) bt Gomotsang Gaasite (Bot) 7-1, Hashim Petro (Tan) bt Leong Jun Hao (Sin) 10-1, Scott Cardle (Eng) bt Anthony Taylor (NZ) 5-3, Richarno Colin (Mri) bt Black Moses Mathenge (Ken) 3-0.
91 kg: Stephen Simmons (Sco) bt Manpreet Singh (Ind) 6-1.