Indian junior pugilists Lalitha Prasad Polipalli (48kg), Manish Kaushik (52kg) and Sandeep Kumar (57kg) continued their winning streak at the second AIBA Junior World Boxing Championships in Astana, Kazakhstan as the trio went on to make a place in the last eight of their respective weight category.
First up was Lalitha Prasad in the light fly weight category. Up against England's European Junior Championships silver medallist Luke McCormack, the reigning national champion took an early lead of two points after the opening three minutes of play. McCormack tried hard to get back in the game in the second round, but Prasad put paid to the Englishman’s efforts of a comeback and held on to the lead. In the third round Prasad, a silver medal winner at the Invitational boxing tournament in Kazakhstan last year, stretched the advantage to five points. He won 15:10 in the end. He will now take on Erik Petrosyan of Armenia in the quarter-finals on the 27th of July.
In the light bantam weight division, Manish pulverized his opponent Sultan Zhanyshev of Kyrgyzstan in a one sided contest. Like in the preliminaries, Kaushik, a bronze medallist in the President Heydar Aliyev Cup in Baku, Azebijan earlier this year, dominated proceedings from the get go and made a mockery of his opponent. With a barrage of punches the he went on to secure his place in the quarters with a 23:8 victory on points. In the round of eight he will lock horns with Sang-Myeong Ham of South Korea.
Playing in the feather weight category, Sandeep Kumar though, did not have such an easy outing. Up against local lad Yerbolat Yermekov, a gold medallist at Kazakh Junior National Championships, Sandeep had to summon all his strength to get the better of the Kazakh. It was a riveting performance by both the boxers and after three rounds of play, the scores were tied at nine all. Ultimately it was the Indian who triumphed on individual judge’s score; he now takes on Dominican Republic’s biggest hope for a medal at the championships, Huscar Ramirez on the 27th July.