Lalitha Prasad (49kg) and Sandeep Sharma (75kg) had to settle for a bronze medal after losing out to their respective opponents in the penultimate round of the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Armenia on Thursday (6 Dec’12). While Prasad was outdone by Bin LV of China, Sandeep went down to Magomed Madyiev of Russia in the semi-final round of the Championship.
Prasad, a 2012 Tammer International Tournament winner, made his place in the round of four after drubbing Kosie Tanaka of Japan. But in the round of four he seemed off colour against the feisty Chinese boxers who made full use of the canvas throughout the bout. Playing the outside game he made it difficult for Prasad to get within attacking distance and do the required damage; the 17 year old Indian was down a one point deficit after the opening three minutes of play (2-3). In the second round Prasad tried to be more aggressive in order to break the solid guard of his opponent, but was caught in the counter attacks of Bin, almost on every occasion. By the end of the second round he was trailing by three points (4-7). Contrary to the Indian camp’s expectations, action continued in the same vein in the final round as well. Prasad, a multiple Youth National Champion, was found lacking in aggression and Bin kept nicking points with his counter jabs and hooks. He finally lost the bout on points (8-13). A disappointed Coach G Manoharan said, “Prasad could have been more aggressive in the final round, but in the end the Chinese turned out to be the better boxer. His ring movement was exceptional along with his counters that turned out to be the difference between the two fighters”.
Sandeep, a bronze medallist at the 2010 International Invitational tournament in Kazakhstan, overpowered Azizjon Mamatov of Uzbekistan in a one-sided affair to make his place in the last four of the middle weight division. But the 17 year old faltered in the second to last hurdle of the Championship. He gave a good account of his skills against some formidable boxing from the Russian boxer, but in the end the Magomed proved to be too strong for the Indian. The first round was at even-stevens, with both the fighters scoring 4 points apiece. But a nasty left cross from the compact Russian fighter did some damage to the Indian’s nose and seemed to put him on the back foot. In the second round Magomed opened up a gap landing in a few meaty punches; Sandeep was now down a three point deficit (6-9). He came back strongly in the final round, but was not effective as he wasn’t able to connect much. The Russian on the other hand kept gaining points with his straight punches whenever Sandeep came in to attack. In the end Sandeep had to be content with a bronze medal finish after a 9-15 loss.
The evening session of play will witness Narender Berwal (+91kg) the lone Indian boxer in the fray, compete for a place in the finals. He will square off against Germany’s Florian Schulz who eliminated tournament favourite Yohandi Toirac of Cuba.