Olympian Ashish Kumar posted a thumping 5-0 victory over a more experienced Travis Tapatuetoa of Niue in the round of 16 to advance to the men’s 80kg quarterfinals in the boxing arena of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Monday night.
Ashish, an Asian championships bronze medallist and a Thailand Open silver medallist, displayed his power-packed performance to beat Tapatuetoa and set up a quarterfinal clash with five-time British National champion and Youth Commonwealth Games gold medallist Aaron Bowen.
The Indian will meet the local favourite, who got the better of Nigerian Innocent Ehwarieme 5-0, on Wednesday.
The 28-year-old Ashish enjoyed a massive height advantage and landed his punches from a good distance.
The extra-cautious approach of Tapatuetoa, who competed in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, helped Ashish grow in confidence and deliver powerful combinations on the body of his rival and win the first round comfortably.
Ashish exhibited his jabs and uppercuts more frequently as the Niue boxer took all the blows bravely despite getting a standing count. The Indian’s sheer supremacy made all the five judges score 10-8 in his favour in the first two rounds.
The Niue boxer threw a few good punches in the third round, but it did not help. Tapatuetoa served a second standing count because of Ashish’s relentless attacks.
The Indian conserved some energy in the closing minute in anticipation of a tougher fight against Bowen in the last eight. Three out of five judges scored 10-8, while two gave 10-9 in favour of Ashish in the final period.