Reigning Asian Champion Shiva Thapa (56kg) and Reigning National Champion Thokchom Nanao Singh (49kg) marched into the pre-quarter finals of the AIBA World Boxing Championship in Kazakhstan, putting in a power packed performance in their opening bouts on Saturday. Beijing Olympics bronze medal winner Vijender Singh (75kg) however suffered a defeat in the round of 32 and bowed out of the tournament.
Olympian and recently crowned Asian Champion Thapa produced a superb performance in his first bout of the championship. He started slow against Mario Fernandez of the Philippines, but picked up pace in the second round. Shiva has been brimming with confidence after his recent achievements, and it was clearly on display against the Philippines boxer. He went on to make his place in the last 16 of the bantam weight division by virtue of a unanimous decision. Thapa, who is seeded 4th in the tournament, will now take on Alberto Milan of Argentina in the next round.
Nanao, the first Indian boxer on the canvases in Almaty on Saturday, was up against Aqeel Ahmed of Scotland. The Scottish boxer was taken by surprise with the aggressive approach adopted by Nanao. The 22 year old services boxer did not waste any time taking the attack to Ahmed; his lightening combinations coupled with his swift ring movement helped him gain a clear advantage. He eased off the pedal in the last two rounds, but did enough to win the bout on a unanimous decision by the judges. Singh, who won a silver medal at the Khabrovsk International tournament earlier this year, is playing his second World Championship after Milan in 2009. In the pre-quarter finals on Monday (21 Oct 2031) Nanao will lock horns with Anthony Rivera Chacon of Puerto Rico who is seeded 8th in the tournament.
But the Indian camp suffered a setback in the middle weight division. Vijender Singh, the 2009 WC bronze medal winner, was engaged in a close encounter with reigning European champion and fifth seed Jason Quigley of Ireland. He landed in some good punches on the Irish boxer, but in the end came up short – a low blow warning in the final round did not help Vijender’s cause. In the end he lost on a split decision.
Earlier in the tournament sixth seed and Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Manoj Kumar beat 2011 European champion Fatih Keles of Turkey and advanced to the last 16 in the light welter weight division, where he will take on Yves Ulysse of Canada. With Shiva and Nanao having booked their place in the round of 16 India has a total four pugilists in the pre-quarter final state of the championship.
The evening session of play later today will see reigning National champion Satish Kumar (+91kg) box against Tajikistan’s Mirodzhidin Karimov in the first round of the super heavy weight category.