Five Indian pugilists in Asian Boxing quarters

Amman, July 5 (IANS) Bantamweight boxer Shiva Thapa (56 kg) bagged a place in the quarterfinals of the ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championship here with a scintillating performance.

Earlier Thursday, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar (64 kg), National Games bronze medallist Mandeep Jangra (69 kg) and reigning National Champion Sukhdeep Singh (75 kg) also qualified for the last eight.

With Olympian L. Devendro Singh (49 kg) getting a bye in pre-quarterfinals, half of the Indian team now has a chance to make it to the final four of their respective weight divisions.

Thapa came out all charged against his Chinese Taipei opponent Li Lin Yen. Yen was caught off guard and was completely at bay against the young Indian.

Thapa's sharp attacks coupled with some great footwork were too much for him to contain. Shiva went on to make his place in the quarters with a unanimous decision from the judges. In the next round he will square off against Kazakhstan's Kairat Yeraliyev.

But there was disappointment for boxers in other weight divisions.

Olympian and Asian Games silver medallist Dinesh Kumar (91 kg) seemed out of sorts in his quarterfinal encounter against some heavy hitting from Mirzabek Hasanov of Uzbekistan. But Dinesh did well to retaliate with some aggression. He tried hard to overpower the Uzbek boxer with some feisty blows in the final round as well but was unable to make the necessary damage. His campaign came to an end with loss on a split decision.

Gold medal winner at the Limassol Boxing Cup Madan Lal (52 kg) also came up short in his pre-quarterfinal bout against Shakhobiddin Zoirov of Uzbekistan. Zoirov's early pace and domination proved to be the undoing of Lal.

In the lightweight division as well, Olympian and reigning Continental Champion Yunusov Anvar of Tajikistan got the better of Vikash Malik. Super heavyweight boxer Satish Kumar (+91 kg) also suffered a similar fate at the hands of London Olympics bronze medallist Dychko Ivan of Kaxakhstan.

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