Day three of the 3rd?International ‘Republic of Kazakhstan President’s Cup’ in Almaty, Kazakhstan turned out to be a bit of dampener for the Indian boxing contingent. London Olympics bound boxer Vikas Krishan (69kg) made a surprise exit from the tournament after losing out to local lad Kojabekov Bakhitjan in the quarter-finals of the welter weight division. Vikas, who had beaten Ashkeev Madiyar of the Almaty team in the pre-quarters, once again made a strong start in the round of eight. With some precise attacking punches, the 20 year old quickly took a one point lead after the opening three minutes of play. But the Kazakh boxer made a strong recovery in the second, taking three points as opposed to the Indian’s one point. Vikas, the Asian Games Gold medallist tried hard to get back in the final round, but Bakhitjan managed to hold on to the advantage and beat Krishan on points 7:9. Playing in the same weight category, bronze medal winner at the senior nationals last year, Lakhbir Singh (69kg) also suffered a similar fate against silver medal winner at the 2011 World Boxing Championships and 2010 Asian Games gold medallist and Serik Sapiyev of Kazakhstan. The former world champion proved too strong for the Indian to handle. Lakhbir was completely at bay against the superior tactics and skill of Sapiyev. He was down 2:7 in the second round when the referee stopped the contest and handed victory to the Kazakh.
But there was good news for India in the super heavy weight division. Rookie boxer Kanwar Preet Singh (+91kg), playing his first international tournament, displayed admirable talent as he took on Demmene Nadir of Algeria. The stout 19 year old dominated the game with his long reach and attacking play. He led throughout the bout not allowing the Algerian boxer many chances to score. By the end of the second round there was a 6 point difference between the two; Kanwar went on to make a place in the semi-finals with an 11:4 win on points. He is now assured of at least a bronze medal finish from the tournament.
On Saturday (5 May 2012) three Indian boxers will take to the rings in the round of four and will have to brave up against a strong home support along with their opponents, with all three going up against Kazakh boxers. L Devendro Singh (49kg) will have a tough ask ahead of him when he takes on Olympian and Asian Games silver medallist Birzhan Zakipov for a place in the finals. Asian Games silver medallist Manpreet Singh (91kg) will lock horns with Abduganiev Arbek, while Debutant Kanwar Preet Singh (+91kg) will look to make it to his first international final against Dichko Ivan.