Indian boxers Shiva Thapa (54kg) and J. Bhaskar (51kg) notched up contrasting wins to advance to the pre-quarterfinals of the World youth championships in Baku, Azerbaijan on Wednesday.
Shiva defeated England's Qais Dad Ashfaq 4-1, while Bhaskar out-slugged Iran's Armin Amjadian 12-4 to enter the last-16 stage. Both of them are just two wins away from not only securing a medal but also booking a berth in the August-September Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.
Late on Tuesday, Asian youth champion Naveen Kumar outclassed Serbia's Boris Skapik to enter the pre-quarterfinals. Naveen will take on local favourite Vatan Huseynli on Thursday.
However, it was curtains for Asian youth silver medallist Devendro Singh Laishram who suffered a stunning 4-8 defeat against Naoya Ique of Japan in the light-flyweight (48kg) second round. Devendro, who was the first to take the ring for India on Wednesday, was tied 1-1 with his rival in the first round, but Ique dominated the next two rounds to notch up a comfortable win.
Next man in for India was Bhaskar and he was aggressive from the word go, taking a 6-1 lead in the opening round. He widened the gap in the next two rounds. Up 9-2 in the second round, Bhaskar added three more points to his tally in the final round to seal the bout in his favour.
Bhaskar will be up against Algeria's Reda Benbaziz, who defeated Czech Dusan Chromy in his second-round bout.
Shiva's bout was a close affair at least initially. The Assamese teenager was locked 1-1 with Ashfaq in the first three minutes but that was to be the only time he allowed his rival to connect a scoring punch.
The counter-puncher, who got a bye in the first round, made it 3-1 in the second round before closing it with just one point in the last three minutes.
Shiva, India's first gold medallist at the prestigious Hyder Aliyev Cup for junior boxers, faces Swede Rejen Raza Abdulrahman, who got past Michael Habti of Ethiopia 10-2 in a second-round bout.
Keywords: World youth championships