Laishram Devendro Singh won his first round rather comprehensively against Molina Figueroa Bayron in the round of 32 in the Men’s Light Fly (49kg). The referee had to call off the fight within the first 3 minutes when the boxer from India knocked down his opponent twice in the first round.
The 20 year old making his Olympic debut in his fiery red attire and eye catching yellow shoes was oozing with confidence and almost could not wait to get his first taste of the Olympic canvas. After just 10 seconds of sizing up his opponent, the diminutive dynamo from Manipur launched into an offensive onslaught to which the 19 year old Bayron had no reply. Not more than one minute on the clock and a hard left from Devendro knocked Bayron of his feet, soon another blow, this time an upper cut coupled with a brilliant combination and the Honduras boxers was left gasping for air, with the referee giving him a standing count. Devendro was leading 24:2 when the referee decided to spare Figueroa of any further agony and declared him the winner.
Devendro, however, wasn’t one of those boxers who could knock off their opponents in a comprehensive manner and thus when he qualified for the Olympics in 2011, it was a surprise even for his coaches. The young Devendro has earned couple of ‘Best Boxer’ awards in the national circuit during his short career so far and is seeking to become the first medallist from Manipur at the London Games.
It was a brilliant performance by the Devendro, who now becomes the fourth Indian boxer, after Vijender Singh (75kg), Jai Bhawan (60kg) and Vikas Krishan (69kg), to have advanced to the pre-quarter final stage of the tournament. He now has a tough task ahead of him as he takes on fourth seed and Beijing Olympics silver medallist and 2011 World Championship bronze medallist Serdamba Purevdorj of Mongolia in the round of 16. Singh who qualified for the Olympic Games at the 2011 Worlds – his very first international tournament – will square off against the 27 year old Mongolian, who is also a former world champion (2009 Milan), on Saturday (4 Aug 2012).