After Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar (64kg) National Games bronze medal winner Mandeep Jangra (69kg) and Reigning National Champion Sukhdeep Singh (75kg) made their place in the quarter-finals of the ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championship in Jordon, it was gold medal winner at the 2012 Asian Olympic Qualifying tournament Shiva Thapa (56kg) who bagged his place in the last eight of the bantam weight division with a scintillating performance on Thursday (05 July 13). With Olympian L Devendro Singh (49kg) getting a bye in pre quarter-finals, half of the Indian team now has a chance to make it to the final four of their respective weight division and be assured of at least a bronze medal finish from the tournament.
Thapa making his second international appearance since the 2012 London Olympics – first being the Konstantin Korotkov Memorial in Russia where he won a bronze medal – 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 quarter-finals with a unanimous decision from the judges. In the next round he will square off against Kazakhstan National Champion Kairat Yeraliyev. Earlier in the tournament L Devendro, a bronze medallist at the Limassol Boxing Cup in Cyprus, secured his spot in the quarters by virtue of a bye. The 21 year old will now face off against a young and upcoming Uzbek boxer Nodirjon Mirzakhmedov.
But there was disappointment for the boxers in the other weight divisions. Olympian and Asian Games silver medallist Dinesh Kumar (91kg) seemed out of sorts in his quarter-final encounter against some heavy hitting from Mirzabek Hasanov of Uzbekistan. But the 2009 Asian Championship bronze medallist did well to retaliate with some aggression of his own. 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 at the Asian Championships came to an end with loss on a split decision. Gold medal winner at the Limassol Boxing Cup, Madan Lal (52kg) also came up short in his pre quarter-final bout against Shakhobiddin Zoirov of Uzbekistan. Zoirov’s early pace and domination proved to be the undoing of Lal. In the light weight division as well, Olympian and reigning Continental Champion Yunusov Anvar of Tajikistan got the better of Vikash Malik. Super heavy weight boxer Satish Kumar (+91kg) also suffered a similar fate at the hands of London Olympics bronze medallist Dychko Ivan of Kaxakhstan.