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Manpreet and Manoj shine

Manpreet Singh

Almaty: Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Manpreet Singh (91kg) entered the pre-quarter finals at the World Boxing Championships, with contrasting wins, in their respective second-round bouts here on Friday.

While Asian Games silver-medallist Manpreet clinched a comprehensive victory over Seychelles’ Keddy Agnes, sixth seed and Commonwealth Games champion Manoj got the better of 2011 European champion Fatih Keles of Turkey.

Both Manoj and Manpreet had got first-round byes. Manpreet won 3-0 in the overall analysis with the round-by-round break-up being 30-27, 30-27, 30-27.

Manoj, on the other hand, fought through a see-saw battle even though he too emerged 3-0 victorious at the end of the bout.

“Manpreet dominated all three rounds even though the other guy was experienced. Manpreet put to use some precise uppercuts and straight punches to unsettle him,” national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said.

The 28-year-old Manpreet will now face world No. 1 and Olympic bronze-medallist Teymur Mammadov of Azerbaijan, who was the top-seeded, in the round of 16 on Monday.

Manoj, meanwhile, will be taking on Canada’s Yves Ulysse, who defeated Juan Romero of Mexico. The Manoj-Ulysse clash is also scheduled for Monday.

“Manoj fought from long range in the opening round and in the second round, the other guy resorted to some tempo boxing. It was an intense bout but Manoj dominated the final round,” said Sandhu.

Mammadov, the current European Championships silver-medallist, got a first-round bye and he thrashed Efetobor Apochi of Nigeria in his opening bout on Friday.

“No doubt it is a tough bout but let us see. We will plan and work out our strategy. We have seen this boy and he is a top boxer but Manpreet is no less,” said Sandhu.