The Indian campaign suffered a major upset at the 2011 AIBA World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan in the form of Olympic Bronze medallist Vijender Singh (75kg). The 25 year old crashed out of the mega-event after having lost his opening round bout against Cuba's Emilio Correa. But there was good news for Indian fans as well as Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Jai Bhagwan (60kg) advanced to the second round of the championship with an emphatic victory. Eight Indian boxers have now crossed the first hurdle and made it to the next round of the tournament at Baku.
Vijender the world number eight and seeded seventh in the Championship, had a tough draw as he took on Olympic silver-medallist Correa in the opening bout of the middle weight division. The Cuban had a psychological advantage going into the match as he defeated Vijender in the semi-finals at the 2008 Beijing Olympic and he started strongly here as well, taking a three point lead in the very first round (1:4). Vijender, the Asian Games gold medallist rallied strongly in the second, trying to reduce the margin, but the Cuban boxer was unrelenting and made it four point game (9:5). In the end Vijender’s World Championship campaign came to an end with a 9:16 defeat on points.
In the light weight category, Jai was up against Youth Olympics gold-medallist Evaldas Petrauskas of Lithuania. The 26 year old started slow in the first round adopting a defensive approach; the scores were knotted at 2 all after the opening three minutes of play. In the second though, he changed his strategy taking the attack to his opponent scoring seven points as compared to Petrauskas’s three. The 2009 Asian Championship silver medallist, further increased the margin in the final round, this time taking the game away from the Lithuanian boxer. Jai clinched the bout with a 15:8 victory on points. He now takes on Czech Miroslav Serban who defeated Nuwan Thennakoon of Sri Lanka 16-10 in his the round of 32 on the 3rd of October.
Round two of the Championship will begin on 2nd Oct, 2011 and four Indian boxers will stake a claim to make a place in the round of 16.
In the opening round of the fly weight division, 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Suranjoy Singh hammered Zsolt Dobradi of Hungary in a one-sided affair (24:8). On Sunday though, the 25 year old expected to have a tough fight against 2009 World Championship silver medallist Nyambayar Tugstsogt of Mongolia. Ranked 5th in the world and seeded 7th in the tournament Tugstsogt, would have a psychological advantage over the 2010 Asian games bronze medallist, as he is the one who defeated Suranjoy (10:10) in his opening bout at the Milan World Championship in 2009.
In the light welter weight class, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar who beat Valentino Knowles of Bahamas (17:11) in the first round, will lock horns with European Champion Raymond Moylette of Ireland. Moylette, who is ranked 6th in the world looks in good form after his opening round triumph, where he came back from behind to defeat Arturs Ahmetovs of Latvia. Manoj will have to be on the top of his game to edge past the Irish boxer.
Asian Games silver medallist Dinesh Kumar will battle against Bosko Draskovic of Montenegro in the light heavy weight category. The world number 12 ousted Deepak Maharajan of Nepal in his opening round, to set up a clash with Draskovic. Statistically Dinesh, who struck gold at the recently concluded World Police and Fire Games in New York, is much higher ranked than Draskovic and should not have much of a trouble getting past Montenegro boxer.
Guangzhou Asian Games gold medallist Vikas Krishnan, making his welterweight (69kg) debut at the World Championships, started on a high drubbing Asadullo Boimurodov of Kyrgyzstan comprehensively in the round of 64. He displayed great maturity against his more experience opponent, but the big test for the 19 year old would be against silver-medallist at the 2011 European championships and seventh seeded Mohamed Nurudzinau of Belarus in the round of 32.