Boxer Manoj into quarters at Asian C’ships
Former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar (64kg) sailed into the quarterfinals with an easy win as Indian boxers continued their good show in the Asian Championships here on Monday.
While Manoj defeated Nepal’s Deepak Shrestha 3-0, Madan Lal (52kg) got the better of Iraq’s Murtadha Al-Sudani by the same margin. Madan started the proceedings for India and gave the <g data-gr-id="26">contingenta</g> perfect start by defeating Al-Sudani 3-0 in a bout marred by excessive clinching and holding. The two pugilists fought out a rather unattractive contest, which lacked spark.
However, the Indian stood out for exploiting his rival’s weak defence quite easily in all three rounds. Madan was clearly the better of the two in ring-craft, thwarting Al-<g data-gr-id="27">Sudani’s</g> feeble attacks with consummate ease. However, Madan, a former national champion, has his task cut out in the next round, where he will be up against second seed Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan. Zoirov outpunched Japan’s Ryomei Tanaka 3-0 in his <g data-gr-id="28">prequarterfinal</g> bout.
Next man in for India on Monday was Manoj and the two-time bronze-winner at the Championships hardly broke a sweat against his seemingly low-on-confidence opponent.
The former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist dictated the pace of the bout and relied mostly on his left hooks and uppercuts to do the scoring. Deepak spent most of the time trying to evade the Indian and hardly manage to connect the few attempts at hitting Manoj. After getting a good measure of Deepak in the opening round, Manoj upped the ante in the second, hopping around the ring without a guard against a fast-wearing opponent. The third round followed a similar pattern before Manoj eased into the next level.
The Haryana-lad also has a tough contest next up -- a face off against second-seeded Kazakh Samat Bashenov. Bashenov got the better of Uzbekistan’s Fazliddin Gaibnazarov 3-0.