Olympians Manoj Kumar (64kg), Shiva Thapa (56kg) and L Devendro Singh (49kg) along with National Games bronze medallist Mandeep Jangra (69kg) marched into the semi-finals of the ASBC Asian Confederation Boxing Championship in Amman, after defeating their respective opponents in the quarter-finals on Friday (06 July 2013). The four Indian boxers are now assured of at least a bronze medal performance from the championship.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar continued his purple patch in the light welter weight division as he devoured Armi Khir of Malaysia in another superlative performance. The 26-year-old was at his aggressive best as he took the fight to Malaysian boxer right from the beginning of the contest. In the end he made his place in the semis with a victory by virtue of a unanimous decision. He is now pitted against London Olympics bronze medallist Uranchimegiin Monkh-Erdene of Mongolia, who will have the psychological edge over Manoj, having beaten him in 2011 at an International Boxing Tournament in Serbia.
Devendro overhauled young and upcoming Uzbek boxer Nodirjon Mirzakhmedov in what was a scintillating performance by the 21-year-old. His lightening fast combinations made it easy for the judges to declare him the unanimous winner. The penultimate round of the light fly weight division will see Singh take on LV Bin of China. Thapa, a 2012 Asian Olympic Qualifying tournament gold medallist, was relentless in his counter attacks against Kairat Yeraliyev from Kazakhstan and ultimately went on to win on a split decision. In the semi finals he will take on Malbekov Omurbek from Kyrgyzstan. Recently crowned Limassol Boxing Cup champion Jangra too won on a split decision against Kosimov Nodirbek of Uzbekistan, a bronze medal winner at the previous edition of the tournament in Incheon, South Korea. Next up the 20-year-old will take on Jargal Otgonjargal from Mongolia. Debutant Sukhdeep Singh (75kg) gave a good account of his boxing skill but in the end lost out to Jafoyev Navruz of Tajikistan.
The semi-final bouts of the ASBC Asian Confederation Championship will be held on Sunday (07 July 2013) after a rest day for the athletes.