| Sumit Sangwan |
Almaty: Olympian Sumit Sangwan (81kg) and Vikash Malik (60kg) fought through intense bouts to enter the pre-quarter finals but Mandeep Jangra (69kg) bowed out after a stiff second-round contest on a mixed day for India in the World Boxing Championships, here, on Sunday.
While Sumit stunned ninth seed Petru Ciobanu of Moldova 2-1, Vikash got the better of Poland’s Dawid Michelus by a similar margin to be just two wins away from ensuring a medal.
Vikash opened the day for India and registered a hard-fought win over Michelus. Michelus won the opening round unanimously but the Indian came back strongly to clinch the second.
In the intensely-fought final three minutes, Michelus began to lose the plot and ended up getting warned for head-butting and evasive tactics. That tilted the scales in Vikash’s favour, handing him the victory.
“It was a close bout no doubt but Vikash played aggressively and this win will definitely boost his morale. In the third round, Michelus was cautioned several times for his tactics but when he didn’t relent then he was warned,” national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said.
Vikash will face fifth seed Miklos Varga of Hungary in the last-16 stage on Tuesday.
Next up was Olympian Sumit and he continued his ascending march by stunning Ciobanu of Moldova.
“Sumit also endured a tough bout. His opponent was a southpaw and very tough. But Sumit used his uppercuts to good effect and executed his strategies well in all the three rounds,” said Sandhu.
Sumit will now face eighth seed Siarhei Novikau of Belarus in the pre-quarters on Monday.
Mandeep Jangra (69kg) then took to the ring against Serdar Hudaberdiyev of Turkmenistan and he even held a slender one-point lead after the opening round but a warning cost him dearly in the next.
“Mandeep’s opponent sustained a cut in the second round and Mandeep was warned after this and it became difficult for him to come back after that,” Sandhu said.
In the evening session on Saturday, national champion Satish Kumar (+91kg) also booked a pre-quarters berth when he defeated Tajikistan’s Mirodzhidin Karimov 3-0 in the opening round. Satish will face Belarus’ Yan Sudzilouski in the next round.
Of the eight, Nanao, Shiva, Manpreet and Manoj will be in action on Monday.
India has won just two medals at the World Championships thus far. (PTI)