The morning session of the quarter-final bouts at the 2011 AIBA World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan turned out to be a damper for the Indian camp. Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar (64kg) and rookie boxer L Devendro Singh (49kg) lost in the round of eight. While Manoj went down against world number 12 and 2011 European Champion Thomas Stalker of England, Devendro?s dream run came to end at the hands of Shin Jong of Korea the second ranked player in the world. But the Indian boxers will not go empty handed from the tournament as a quarter-final finish assures them of a berth at the 2012 London Olympics.
Manoj started cautiously as did his opponent; both boxers matched each other punch for punch in the opening round, but Stalker the 2010 commonwealth games gold medallist in the light weight division managed to gain a one point lead (4:5). In the second round, he up the ante giving the Indian boxer a hard time with his heavy blows (7:11). Manoj, who was trailing by five points at the beginning of the final round, came back strongly with some swift combinations, but was not able to gain the advantage and lost 18:24.
Devendro, who was given the tag of ?Giant-Killer? doused 7th seeded Carlos Quipo of Ecuador to make his place in the quarter-finals of the light fly weight division. But the 19 year old faced his toughest challenge against 2011 Asian Champion Shin Jong. The Korean who was taller than Devendro took complete advantage of his height. The Indian boxer found it quite difficult to get inside the long arms of Shin and get his usual game going. The Korean on the other was gaining advantage owing to his long reach. Devendro was down two points at the end of the first round (9:11). Shin made best use of his experience and stretched the advantage in the second as well. Devendro kept trying hard to break the defence of his opponent, but failed to make an impact. His world championship campaign came to an end with a 16:28 loss.
The evening session of play will feature the last two Indian in the championship. Jai Bhagwan will lock horns with Gani Zhailauov of Kazakhstan in the quarters, while Vikas Krishan will fight Vasili Belous of Maldova for a place in the semis.