London - India’s strong medal contender Vijender Singh sailed into the pre-quarter final in the men’s middleweight (75 kg) boxing competition with a clinical 14-10 win over Danabek Suzhanov of Kazakhstan at the London Olympics here Saturday.
Vijender, who became the country’s first ever Olympic medal winner in boxing by grabbing the bronze in the Beijing Games four years back, seemed confident as he let in some lethal punches to pierce the defence of his rival.
The Indian led in each of the rounds, though the Kazakh fighter also landed a few good blows at the Excel arena.
Egged on by the vociferous crowd of expatriate Indians, Vijender opened up a 5-4 lead in the opening round, despite missing a few good scoring chances.
The Indian kept his composure in the next round, notwithstanding Suzhanov’s bid to overturn the script and widened the gulf to 9-7. Of special mention was a lightning left hook followed by a right uppercut unleashed by the Indians, both of which proved productive.
Down by two points, Suzhanov tried to go on the offensive in the third round, but Vijender was more than equal to the task as he took a further 5-3 lead to consolidate his position. The Kazakh did manage to score points against the Indian, the Haryana boxer was tactically superior than his opponent and also put his reach to good use to keep himself on course for a second Olympic medal.
“I am delighted to make it through to the next round, he was a tough opponent and now its on to the next challenge,” said the 26-year-old.
“I want to go home with a different coloured medal this time,” he added.
Vijender will now take on Terrell Gausha of USA in the pre-quarters on August 2. Gausha had a terrific fight and got the better of Andranik Hukobyan of Armenia in the opening round with referee stopping contest.