BAKU (AZERBAIJAN), June 17: Former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar (64kg) clinched a hard-fought opening win but two other Indian boxers bowed out after losing in the first round of the AIBA World Olympic Qualification Tournament here.
Manoj defeated Puerto Rico�s Danielito Zorrila de la Rosa in the opening light welterweight (64kg) 2-1 to enter the second round where he will be up against second seed Mohamed Eslam Ahmed Aly of Egypt on Sunday.
�It was a brilliant performance by Manoj. Danielito was cautioned repeatedly for head-butting dangerously and it was to Manoj�s credit that he kept his composure. Especially in the third round, Manoj got his strategy perfectly right by fighting from the long range,� national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu told PTI.
However, Gaurav Bidhuri (52kg) lost 0-3 to American Antonio Vargas in his opening bout to bow out of contention. Bidhuri, however, can still have a shot at Olympic qualification by competing in the final qualifying tournament for professional boxers scheduled to be held in Venezuela next month.
Bidhuri, who has competed in the World series of Boxing for two back-to-back seasons, is eligible for the qualifiers, which will feature pro boxers from around the world.
Also in the wee hours last night, Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Mandeep Jangra (69kg) lost 1-2 to Spaniard Youba Sissokho Ndiaye in a hard-fought contest.
�Both of them fought their hearts out but unfortunately they could not get the desired results,� Sandhu said. � PTI