Devendro Singh‘s fairy tale Olympic journey came to an end as he crashed out of the Olympics tonight in a high scoring intense bout. Taking on Ireland’s Paddy Barnes in the Quarter finals of the Men’s fly weight (49kg) category, Devendro Singh showed a lot of heart and grit. The match was finally taken by the Irishman by 23-18 points after three entertaining rounds of boxing.
The bout opened, as expected, with both boxers going hell for leather. Devendro Singh stuck to his attacking strategy and went for the Irish from the first second. However, Paddy Barnes was not to be unsettled. The burly Irishman came back firing at the Manipuri boxer with a series of body punches. Devendro, with his lighting speed, tried to counter attack but the experienced Paddy won the round by 7-5 points.
The second round was a mayhem with Devendro trying to dominate the bout. Paddy, using the advantage of his height, swayed and ducked away from the punches of the diminutive boxer from India. Devendro tried to be too aggressive leaving his defence open for the Irishman. Paddy took advantage and landed a series of 1-2 combinations. Paddy landed two solid rights and then a straight punch to the face making the round swing his way. Devendro tried to fight back with a couple of good left jabs but Paddy again caught him twice by his right. The round saw Devendro warned and docked two points for headbutting Paddy. The Irishman ran away with the round and opened up a lead of 7 points.
The third round was nothing but all attack from the “Chhota Tyson”. He danced around the ring and launched an onslaught on the Irishman. Paddy, looking to defend his lead, opted for a defensive route but Devendro used his right hand as a trip hammer to collect points in the round. He delivered a couple of good rights and a magnificent upper cut to light up the round. Paddy, then, received a warning and was docked to points as he tried to hold off and infringe the Indian. Devendro ended the round with a combination of 4-5 punches but the Irishman sealed the game with two heavy body punches on the bell. The hard fought round went to Devendro but the match was secured by the Barnes with an overall score of 23-18.
After Mary Kom‘s exit, Devendro was India’s only hope to bring back another medal in boxing. Devendro’s exit ends India’s challenge at London in boxing. Devendro, however, should be proud of his achievements at the Games. At the age of 20, the boxer from Manipur has shown a big heart and all the qualities of a great boxer. The referee was forced to stop his first bout after just two minutes 24 seconds to save his battered opponent, Figuero (Honduras), from more punishment. From there, he went on to the Round of 16 where he unsettled the highly fancied Serdamba Purevdorj who had won silver in Beijing.
Devendro is an unorthodox pugilist who brings a freshness to the game with his unpredictability. With his attacking game, he dazzles you with his impeccable footwork and relentless punching with no concern for either the opponet or the occasion. Laishram Devendro Singh – surely a man to look out for in the future!