Another Indian boxing hopeful was dumped out tonight as Manoj Kumar fell to Uzbekistani boxer Fazliddin Gaibnazarov 30-27 across all the scorecards of the judges. The bout itself wasn’t a purist’s delight by any stretch of imagination, as it was predominated by much clinching and dirty boxing.
However, it was obvious that the Uzbekistan fighter was in control as he landed the stronger shots and was pretty much able to dictate the direction of the fight. He also hurt Manoj with his superior power; something that constantly troubled the Indian throughout the fight.
Manoj tried to land loopy hooks of his own in retort, but was mostly made to miss in a scrappy fight that was hardly incisive and clinical. Fazliddin Gaibnazarov, although, did land the more telling blows of the two.
Round 1 was rather close – with both men trying to establish range and dominance by using the jab – but Round 2 saw the Uzbekistani fighter put the distance between them as he rocked Manoj enough to earn the Indian a standing 8 count. And by Round 3, he probably realised that he was edging the Indian out in the scorecards as he hardly engaged.
It was a round characterized by much clinching as Fazliddin Gaibnazarov looked to cruise to victory without taking much damage. Sadly for Manoj, he could accomplish exactly that to make him the second Indian to bow out in Boxing, after Shiva Thapa.