Men's Boxing Championships: Akash, Narender enter quarter-finals

India's Akash Kumar (in blue) in action at the Men's Boxing Championships. (PC: BFI)
India's Akash Kumar (in blue) in action at the Men's Boxing Championships. (PC: BFI)

India’s Akash Kumar and Narender entered the quarter-finals of the AIBA Men’s Boxing Championships with commanding victories in Belgrade, Serbia on Sunday.

Akash outclassed Puerto Rico’s Caleb Tirado by a unanimous decision in the 54kg last-16 bout.

Narender produced a power-packed performance to upstage Tajikistan pugilist Jakhon Qurbonov with the Referee Stopping the Contest (RSC) in the second round of the +92kg kg pre-quarterfinals contest. Qurbonov is a former Asian Games champion.

In their first bouts of the competition, both boxers began on an aggressive note and traded punches continuously in the busy first two rounds of the 54kg last-16 bout.

Read: Nikhat Zareen achieves preliminary goal in Hisar, now sets sights on Boxing World Championship

The 21-year-old Indian had received a walkover in his opening match, while Tirado was given a bye in the first round. The tallest among the two pugilists, Akash made good use of his height and landed some sharp punches to tilt the momentum in his favor.

𝐈𝐌𝐏𝐄𝐂𝐂𝐀𝐁𝐋𝐄 🥊🔥@berwal_narender (+92 kg) storms into the QF of 2021 #MensWorldChampionships in style after clinching victory by RSC verdict in round 2 over veteran boxer 🇹🇯's Jakhon Qurbonov in the last 16 💪🏻Well done! 😍#PunchMeinHaiDum#boxing#aibawchs2021

Having taken a comfortable lead after the first two rounds, Akash showed tactical maturity by maintaining distance from his opponent in the final round which denied the latter any chance to make a comeback into the match.

With these dominating triumphs, Akash and Narender are now a win away from confirming a medal for the country at the championships.

Shiva Thapa advances

Earlier, seasoned boxer Shiva Thapa made his way into the last-16 stage with an easy 5-0 victory against John Brown in the 63.5kg round-of-32 contest.

The five-time Asian champion put up a dominating show against his opponent from Sierra Leone to continue his winning run at the championships.

Meanwhile, Govind Sahani (48kg) was knocked out in the pre-quarterfinals stage after suffering a 4-0 defeat against Georgia’s Sakhil Alakhverdovi.

‘Fair Chance Team’ competes for first time at AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships🥊…#aibawchs2021 #boxing

Sachin Kumar also went down fighting against USA’s Robby Gonzales in the 80kg last-32 match.

While Akash and Narender have entered the quarter-finals, eight other Indian boxers from the 13-member Indian contingent that took part at the world’s prestigious event, have made it to the pre-quarterfinals stage.

Also read: Boxing Federation of India (BFI) to rejig coaching staff post-Belgrade World Championships

Edited by S Chowdhury
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