CHICAGO: India’s campaign at the World boxing championship came to naught when featherweight pugilist Anthresh Lalit Lakra lost his quarterfinal bout against Li Yang here on Thursday afternoon.
The only silver lining was Lakra earning a quota berth for next year’s Olympic Games in Beijing, by virtue of his quarterfinal showing.
V. Devarajan was the last Indian to win a medal at the world boxing meet, way back in 1994.
Up against Asian bronze medallist Li Yang of China in the 57kg category, Lakra was all at sea in the first two rounds.
The blows Lakra received and the points he conceded crushed the morale of the Indian and he never looked up again.
Yang took the first two rounds 0-3 and 0-3 before Lakra could even make his first scoring punch.
Lakra had scripted a great comeback after missing entire 2006 following his Commonwealth gold in Glasgow, Scotland.
In the third round, Lakra recovered his composure and earned his first points. He scored four, but the Chinese was even better as he took the round 7-4 for 13-4 lead.
The lead was too much for Lakra to try anything in the final round, which Yang took 4-2, for a 17-6 verdict.
Going by the performances here flyweight Jitender Kumar stands the best chance to make it.
Middleweight Vijender and bantamweight Akhil Kumar, who missed the World championship due to injury, are the other Indian hopes in boxing.