New Delhi: Shiva Thapa (60kg) and Salman Sheikh (52kg) notched up comprehensive wins to enter the quarterfinals as Indian boxers got off to a resounding start at the Ulaanbaatar Cup Tournament in Mongolia today.
Three-time Asian medallist Shiva out-punched local hope Oyunbileg Munkhsaikhan in a unanimous verdict, while Salman took just two rounds to brush aside Korean Young Sik Bae’s challenge.
Both the boxers are now just one win away from securing themselves a medal. Next up for Shiva is Kyrgyzstan’s Ravshanbek. Salman, on the other hand, will square off against local favourite Gankhuyag Gan-Erdene in the last-eight stage.
Salman, who opened the proceedings for India, was aggressive from the first ring of the bell. Salman unsettled Young with relentless flurry of punches and his withering attack on the Korean, as he lay trapped on the ropes, stood out in the opening round.
The onslaught became too much to take for Young and the bout ended in the second round with the judges ruling unanimously in favour of the Indian.
Shiva, on the other hand, was trademark reticent to start with before building the momentum. The Assam-boxer, one of India’s only four to have won a medal at the World Championships, gradually overpowered his opponent, all the while maintaining a watertight guard.
His aggressive side came to the fore in the final three minutes and the result was his rival facing a standing eight count.
The boxer is on a comeback trail after missing out on selection for the Commonwealth Games and had notched up an impressive win in the World Series of Boxing in April.