BELGRADE, October 26: Five-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa (63.5kg) stormed into the second round of the AIBA World Boxing Championships after out-witting Kenya’s Victor Nyadera in his opening bout on Tuesday.
Thapa, competing in his third world championship, produced a fine tactical performance to prevail 5-0 against a spunky rival. The Indian countered the height and reach of Nyadera with his measured counter-attacking approach.
The Assam boxer, who won a bronze at the showpiece in 2015, will face Sierra Leone’s John Brown on October 30 in the round of 32.
Earlier on Monday night, debutant Akash Sangwan (67kg) also sailed into the second round with a comprehensive 5-0 triumph over Turkey’s Furkan Adem.
Sangwan, a reigning national champion, will next face Germany’s Deniel Krotter, who got a first-round bye. The Indian dominated Adem in a lop-sided contest held late last night.
Another debutant Rohit Mor (57kg) gave India a winning start by outpunching Ecuador’s Jean Caicedo 5-0 in a confident opening-round performance this evening. Next up for him is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Alen Rahimic.
Asian champion Sanjeet (92kg) received a first-round bye, along with Sachin Kumar (80kg).
While Sachin will face American Robby Gonzalez in the second round on October 30, Sanjeet will be up against Russian Andre Stotskii in his opening bout on October 29.
With more than 600 boxers from over 100 countries in fray, a lot of competitors will have to win at least three bouts in some categories to get to the quarterfinal stage.
Asian silver-medallist Deepak Kumar (51kg), who impressed last year with his giant-slaying performances en route to a silver at the prestigious Strandja memorial tournament, will square off against Kyrgyzstan’s Azat Usenaliev.
Sumit (75kg) will join Thapa and Deepak in competing on the day when he takes the ring against Jamaica’s Damon O’Neill.
Also in action would be Narender (+92kg), squaring off against Poland’s Oskar Safaryan.
The gold-winners at the showpiece will walk away with a prize money of $100,000.
The silver medallists are to be given $50,000, and both bronze-medallists will be awarded $25,000 each. The total prize purse stands at a whopping $2.6 million. (PTI)