IBF Press Release
Prasad And Sandeep Assured of a Bronze Medal at The Youth World Championships

Indian Youth boxers LP Prasad (49kg) and Sandeep Sharma (75kg) created history on Tuesday assuring themselves of a medal at the AIBA Youth World Championships in Armenia. 17 year old Prasad continued his purple patch at the 2012 edition of the Youth WC, this time defeating Kosie Tanaka from Japan to make it to the semi-finals. Sandeep on the other hand beat Azizjon Mamatov of Uzbekistan to ensure a podium finish at the Championships. Both boxers are now assured of at least a bronze medal finish from the tournament.

Prasad, who until now hadn’t really been challenged in the competition, faced some tough opposition from the Japanese boxer. The multiple national champion, who beat Issac Pinto of Ecuador to make his place in the quarter-finals, displayed real class to get past Tanaka in what was a thrilling contest. He adopted a cautious approach in the first round, deciding to measure his opponents first. The Japanese endorsed a similar strategy waiting for Prasad to make the first move. With both boxers relying more on counter attacks the first round ended at three points apiece.††A fine display of controlled aggression coupled with some nifty footwork saw Prasad win the second round with a crucial one point lead (5-4). In the final three minutes of play, Tanaka tried hard to get back in the game, however Prasad with a keen understand of his opponent’s game, put up a solid guard and kept nicking points of his own. He did not relinquish the advantage till the end and won the bout with a score of 12-11.†“It was not an easy fight; we played the mental game for a while before going for it in. It could have been anyone’s game, but I think it was my timing that helped my grab that extra point in the second round, that turned out to be the clincher. I am happy to have won, but I hope to go all the way and the next round is going to be another tough challenge”,†express Prasad who is now pitted to fight against Cuban Youth National Champion Andy Cruz Gomez in the semi-finals on Thursday (06 Dec’12).

In stark contrast to his compatriot Sandeep, a bronze medallist at the 2010 International Invitational tournament in Kazakhstan, overpowered Mamatov in a one-sided affair to make his place in the last four of the middle weight division. He dominated the bout from the start to the finish never allowing the Uzbek boxer even a fleeting chance to get ahead in the game. By the end of the second round Sharma had already gained an 8 point lead (13-5). He further stretched the gap in the last three minutes of play to eventually win on points 18-7. The 17 year old Haryana lad now fights European Youth Championships silver medallist Magomed Madyiev of Russia on Thursday for a place in the finals.

Coach G Manoharan was extremely pleased with performance of his wards and said,†“I am happy that four of our lads have reached the quarter-finals, but the upcoming bouts will be a big test for all and hopefully we will be able to match the performance of 2010”.†Talking about the days achievements so far he stated,†“Prasad and Sandeep have given a good account of their boxing skills. Prasad has a sound overall game, plus he is also a thinking fighter and that is what was on display today. Sandeep on the other hand looks to put pressure on his opponents from the beginning and it has worked for his so far. To win the gold they have to win two more bouts and next ones will not be easy, but I am confident of a good performance. Plus we have two more quarter-final bouts in the evening session and we hope to do well in them as well”.

The other two Indian boxers in the fray will take to rings in the evening session of play in their respective quarter-final bouts later today (04 Dec’12). Silver medallist at the 2012 Tammer International Tournament, Dheeraj Singh (52kg) continued his winning as he ousted Tural Ahmadov of Azerbaijan late on Monday (03 Dec’12) to secure a spot in the last eight of the fly weight category. The†18 year old fended off a resilient comeback attempt from the†Azerbaijan boxer in the second round to eventually win the bout on points 20-12 (6-3, 6-6, 8-3). He is slated to fight against Cuban boxer Jorge Cordero later tonight in what is expected to be a very tough encounter. Cordero a Youth National Champion and a gold medallist at the Pavlyukov Youth Memorial Tournament in Russia, beat AIBA Junior World Champion Asror Vohidov of Tajikistan and Armenia's European Junior Championships silver medallist Henrik Mokoyan to set up the quarter-final showdown against Dheeraj. There is no doubt that the Indian will have to be on top of his game to upset Cordero. Super heavy weight boxer Narender (+91) will look to ensure an entry into the medal rounds as he takes on 2010 European Junior Championship bronze medallist Ivan Kabatov of Russia in his quarter-final bout.


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