Indian boxers continued to pack a mighty punch at the World Championships as Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Manpreet Singh (91kg) entered the pre-quarterfinals with contrasting wins in their respective second-round bouts in Almaty on Friday.
While Asian Games silver-medallist Manpreet clinched a comprehensive victory over Seychelles’ Keddy Agnes, sixth seed and Commonwealth Games champion Manoj got the better of 2011 European champion Fatih Keles of Turkey.
Both Manoj and Manpreet had got first-round byes.
Manpreet won 3-0 in the overall analysis with the round-by-round break-up being 30-27 30-27 30-27.
Manoj, on the other hand, fought through a see-saw battle even though he too emerged 3-0 victorious at the end of the bout.
“Manpreet dominated all three rounds even though the other guy was very stout and experienced. Manpreet put to use some precise uppercuts and straight punches to unsettle him,” national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu told PTI.
The 28-year-old Manpreet will now face world number one and Olympic bronze-medallist Teymur Mammadov of Azerbaijan, who has been top-seeded, in the round of 16 on Monday.
Manoj, meanwhile, will be taking on Canada’s Yves Ulysse, who defeated Juan Romero of Mexico. The Manoj-Ulysse clash is also scheduled for Monday.
“Manoj fought from long range in the opening round and in the second round, the other guy resorted to some tempo boxing.
It was an intense bout but Manoj dominated the final round,” said Sandhu.
Mammadov, the current European Championships silver-medallist, got a first-round bye and he thrashed Efetobor Apochi of Nigeria in his opening bout today which preceded Manpreet’s bout.
“No doubt it is a tough bout but let us see. We will plan and work out our strategy. We have seen this boy and he is a top boxer but Manpreet is no less,” said Sandhu.
The 20-year-old Mammadov had won a silver medal in the 2011 World Championships in Azerbaijan besides being the European champion in that year.
Earlier, Mandeep Jangra (69kg), Vijender Singh (75kg) and Vikash Malik (60kg) had entered the round of 32 after winning their opening bouts.
Tomorrow, it would be a busy day for the Indian contingent with as many as four boxers set to be in action.
Starting the proceedings would be former cadet world champion Thokchom Nanao Singh (49kg), who will take on Scotland’s Aqeel Ahmed after getting a first-round bye.
Next up, reigning Asian champion Shiva Thapa, who is seeded fourth, will fight it out with Filipino Mario Fernandez in the bantamweight 56kg second round. Shia also got a bye in the opening round.
Soon after, former Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist Vijender Singh (75kg) will be up against reigning European champion Jason Quigley of Ireland who has ben seeded fifth.
In the evening session, national champion Satish Kumar (+91kg) wil take on Tajikistan’s Mirodzhidin Karimov in the opening round.