Day one in the round of 32 at the 2011 AIBA World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan and the Indian boxing team suffered mixed fortunes. Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar (64kg), Asian Games silver medallist Dinesh Kumar (81kg) and Asian Games gold medallist Vikas Krishnan (69kg) advanced to the pre-quarterfinals, notching up victories in their respective weight categories. But there was disappointment for Indian in the fly weight division with 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Suranjoy Singh losing his second round match against world number 5 Nyambayar Tugstsogt of Mongolia.
Kumar, playing in the light welter weight division hammered, Valentino Knowles of Bahamas (17:11) in the first round and continued his winning spree in the second as he doused European Champion Raymond Moylette of Ireland with another scintillating performance. In a fight that was expected to go down to the wire, the 24 year old Indian dominated proceedings from the get go. He took a 5:3 lead after the first round and didn’t give the 2008 World Youth Champion many chances to score in the second, where he added 7 points as opposed to a single point for the Irish boxer. He sealed the issue with a 19:7 victory and secured his spot in the last 16 of his weight class. He will now take on Asian Games silver medallist Hu Qing of China, who beat Machrough Samir of France to set up a the clash.
Commonwealth games gold medallist Dinesh was up against Bosko Draskovic of Montenegro in the light heavy weight category.The world number 12 had a slender, one point lead after the opening three minutes of play. In the second round though, he launched an offensive onslaught to which the Montenegro boxer had no reply, amassing an eight point advantage. Dinesh who was already on the verge of victory was fast tracked into being announced the winner when Draskovic was disqualified in the final round, for bending too much. In the pre-quarter the 23 year old will lock with Commonwealth gold-medallist Damien Hooper of Australia.
Krishnan, making his welterweight (69kg) debut at the World Championships had to bide his time to stake a claim for a place in the pre-quarters, as his bout was scheduled at the end of the day. He took on 2011 European championships and seventh seeded Mohamed Nurudzinau of Belarus in the round of 32. There was not much separating the two boxers as both of them matched each other punch for punch, throughout the nine minutes of play. After three rounds of intense action the scores were knotted at 10 all. But it was the 19 year old Indian who triumphed on individual judge’s score - An emphatic victory for the 2010 Youth World Champion, who has displayed great skill and maturity in the tournament. He now takes on Onder Sipal of Turkey in the round of 16.
The three Indian boxers are one step away from qualifying for the London Olympics as top ten boxers in each weight category will qualify for the quadrennial games, except Heavy and Super Heavy weights where only six will qualify.
But the day did not turn out as well for Asian Games bronze medallist Suranjoy Singh as his campaign at the World Championships were cut short once again by 2009 World Championship silver medallist Nyambayar Tugstsogt of Mongolia.Ranked 5th in the world and seeded 7th in the tournament, Tugstsogt was the reason for Suranjoy’s early exit from the 2009 world championships in Milan. And like the championships in 2009 this time also it was a close encounter between the two. Suranjoy, who was a point behind at 4-5 in the first round, made a stunning recovery in the second and took the lead at 13:12. But in the final round a nasty upper-cut by the Mongolian put paid to any of the 25 year old to avenge his 2009 loss. In the end he lost 17:14 on points.
Three Indian will be three in fray on Monday, the 3rd of October, looking to make a place in the round of 16. The most experienced boxer in the Indian team, Akhil Kumar (56kg) will lock horns with world number 4, John Nevin of Ireland. The 30 year old had an easy opening round vicotry against Filip Barak of Slovakia (16:8), but Nevin a bronze medallist at the 2009 AIBA World Championships might prove to be a tricky customer. The former Commonwealth Champion will have to bring all his experience in play to overpower the Irish boxer.
Debutant L Devendro Singh (49kg) who upstaged Asylbek Nazaraliev of Kyrgyzstan in his opening bout, will battle against Joselito Velazquez of Mexico for a place in the pre-quarterfinals of the light fly weight division.
Asian Games silver medallist Manpreet Singh (91kg) will open his world championship campaign against Dzhakon Qurbanov of Tijikistan. Both the boxer got a bye in the first round.