India off to a winning start at Asian Boxing Championships
Shiva Thapa (64kg) and Mohammed Hussamuddin (56kg) gave India the perfect start at the Asian Boxing Championships, storming into the quarterfinals with impressive victories on Monday. Commonwealth Games bronze-winner Hussamuddin (56kg) defeated Kazakhstan's Makhmud Sabyrkhan in his opening bout. Later, Thapa, who is chasing a fifth successive medal at the event, got the better of Kyrgyzstan's Dmitri Puchinn. Both the boxers won 5-0.
Next up, Hussamuddin vs Mirazizbek Mirzahalilov; Thapa vs Nader Odah
Hussamuddin has a real tough one next up as he will be taking on reigning world and Asian Games champion Mirazizbek Mirzahalilov of Uzbekistan. Mirzahalilov is the top seed in the draw and is the defending champion as well. Thapa, on the other hand, will square off against Kuwait's Nader Odah, who got a first-round bye.
Hussamuddin and Sabyrkhan put up an entertaining show
The score-line might suggest otherwise, but Hussamuddin was locked in a grueling battle with the 19-year-old Asian youth champion. The exchange of blows was fierce as the two boxers put up an entertaining show. The Indian, however, proved to be a better defender than the Kazakh, who relied just too heavily on counter-attacks.
Thapa dominated all three rounds of his contest
Thapa, on the other hand, wasn't tested too much against Puchinn, who took quite a while to even land his first blow. The Kyrgyz boxer's withdrawn approach worked well for the former champion, who didn't have to try too hard to break through his defenses. Thapa dominated all three rounds in the contest and got a unanimous verdict from the judges.
Here are Tuesday's bouts
On Tuesday, Olympic-bound Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Sakshi (54kg), Jasmine (57kg), and Sanjeet (91kg) will fight their respective last-eight stage bouts at the event which is being jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and the UAE Boxing Federation.
150 pugilists from 17 countries are participating this year
The continental showpiece features 150 pugilists from 17 countries this year including strong boxing nations such as Uzbekistan, the Philippines, and Kazakhstan. India's best-ever show at the Asian Championship was in the 2019 edition in Bangkok where the country secured an unprecedented 13 medals including two gold, four silver, and seven bronze.