New Delhi, Mar 5 : Asian Championships silver medallist Ashish Kumar (75kg) knocked out fourth seed Bekzhigit Uulu Omurbek of Kyrgyzstan 5-0 to advance to the quarter-finals of the Asian Olympic Qualifiers for boxing, here on Thursday. Ashish will next face Indonesia’s Maikhel Roberrd Muskita for a place in the semis to confirm his Tokyo Olympics berth.
Having defeated the World No 15 on his way to winning the silver at the Asian Championships last year, the 16th ranked Kumar came into this bout with a lot of confidence. He started slow as the Kyrgyz raced out of the blocks to land a flurry of jabs on the Indian. However, once he settled down into the match, Ashish was able to connect better than his opponent.
While the first round did go his way, the undeterred Omurbek came storming back to use his right-hand punches effectively and bounced back into the bout. The final round was a heavily one-sided affair in favour of the Indian whose smart defensive tactic did not allow his opponent to land his blows. The contest ended with a great show of sportsmanship with the two boxers hugging and posing for the cameramen together.
Later in the day, World Championships bronze medallist Manish Kaushik (63kg) will begin his quest against Chinese Taipei’s Lai Chu-En while Sachin Kumar (81kg) will take on Samoa’s Ioapa Dee. (UNI)