Manoj, Mandeep, Sukhdeep in Asian boxing quarters

Amman, July 4 (IANS) Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar (64 kg) continued his winning streak as he marched into the quarterfinals of the Asian Confederation Boxing Championship here.

The Indians had a 100 percent strike rate Wednesday with all three pugilists registering a win in their respective weight categories. After Manoj, it was National Games bronze medallist Mandeep Jangra (69 kg) and reigning national champion Sukhdeep Singh (75 kg), who powered through to the round of eight.

Kumar, playing his second bout, made short work of his Sri Lankan opponent Mohamed Dilshan. Manoj was in his usual aggressive form from the start; his penetrating left and right jabs catching Dilshan off guard many times.

He was clearly the superior boxer and made it easy for the judges to declare him winner by a unanimous decision. The 26-year-old Asian Championship bronze medallist is now one step away from another bronze and will have to out-punch Armi Khir of Malaysia next, in order replicate his 2007 success.

In the welterweight division, recently crowned Limassol Boxing Cup Champion Mandeep was brimming with confidence as he took on Lebanese boxer Antar Khodor. Mandeep, who lost out in the quarterfinal stage of the previous edition of the tournament in 2011, looked keen on making amends.

The 20-year-old took advantage of his fast paced ring movement along with precise attacks to dominate and maintain a steady lead throughout the three rounds. In the end, he won unanimously.

He now faces Nodirbek Kosimov of Uzbekistan who won the Makar Mazay Memorial Tournament and secured a bronze medal in the last edition at Incheon.

Meanwhile, debutant Sukhdeep also gave a good account of his boxing skills overhauling South Korean boxer Kim Dachwan in a one-sided contest displaying immense technical soundness. He now faces 2010 World Combat Games bronze medallist Jafoyev Navruz of Tajikistan Friday for a spot in the semifinals.

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