Olympics-bound Indian boxer L. Devendro Singh (49kg) had to be content with a silver medal finish at the International Republic of Kazakhstan President’s Cup after losing in the finals in Almaty.
The 20-year-old, who beat Olympian and 2010 Asian Games silver-medallist Birzhan Zakipov in the semis, was up against Cuba’s top light flyweight boxer and a bronze medal winner at the 2010 Youth World Boxing Championships — Yosvany Veitia — in the title clash.
He started well keeping pace with his Cuban opponent and after the opening three minutes of play, the scores were knotted at 4-4.
But with the beginning of the second round, Veitia, with his sound defence and precise combinations, took the game away from the Indian boxer.
Devendro attacked vigorously in the final round but could not penetrate Veitia’s guard as much as he would have liked.
In the end he lost the bout on points 11:15.
“It was a difficult bout and the Cuban had a sound technique, I tried hard to get inside and fight but did not get many chances to score. Nonetheless I am happy with my performance; this tour has been a big learning curve for me and it will help a great deal in my preparations for the Olympics,” said Devendro after his bout.
Chief National Coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu, who is accompanying the team, said, “Devendro did well to reach the finals of the tournament, he beat some good and experienced boxers along the way.
“Like I said at the beginning of the tour, it is the experience and learning from tours like these that is important to us. Winning medals is an added incentive and motivation, it always helps.”
Earlier, Asian Games silver medallist Manpreet Singh (91kg) and debutant Kanwar Preet Singh (+91kg) had to settle for bronze medals after losing out in the semifinals of their respective weight categories.