New Delhi, May 25: Assam boxer Shiva Thapa put up a scintillating performance to outpunch Nader Odah in the men's 64kg quarter-finals at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai on Tuesday.
With a comprehensive 5-0 victory against Kuwait's Odah, Guwahati boxer Thapa progressed into the semi-finals and also confirmed his fifth back-to-back medal at the Asian Championships. Previously, Thapa has won one gold (2013), one silver (2017) and two bronze (2015 and 2019) at the Championships.
Showing a fine display of attacking boxing Thapa dominated Odah throughout the bout and hardly gave him any opportunity to score a point. The Indian will have tough task in the last-4 round as he will take on top-seeded Bakhodur Usmonov of Tajikistan.
Earlier in the day, Mohammad Hussamuddin went down fighting 1-4 against the reigning world champion and top-seed Mirazizbek Mirzahalilov in the men's 56kg quarter-finals. The defending champion Mirzahalilov started the contest with an aggressive intent and saw landing fierce punches. Hussamuddin however tried to gain momentum with a good defence and counter-attacking punches but the experienced Uzbek boxer did not allow Indian any chance of comeback before completing a 4-1 victory in the close-fought game.
Later tonight, four more Indians will be in action in the quarter-finals. Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Sakshi (54kg), Jasmine (57kg) and Sanjeet (91kg) will look to assure medals for the country in their respective categories.
Third day of the prestigious event, which is jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation, will see India's Olympic-bound men pugilists Amit Panghal, Vikas Krishan and Ashish Kumar kick-starting their campaign alongside two other boxers in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
The World Championships silver medallist and defending champion Panghal will face a strong challenge from Kharkhuu Enkhmandakh in the 52 kg bout. When the duo last met at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Amman, Jordan last year, the Mongolian boxer had put up a tough fight before the Indian managed to win. The Asian Games champion Vikas Krishan will square off against Iran's Moslem Malamir in 69kg.
Ashish Kumar (75kg), who clinched silver medal in the last edition of the event, and Narender (+91kg) will also be up against powerful opponents from Kazakhstan. While Ashish will play World Championships and Asian Games silver medallist Abilkhan Amankul, Narender is set to fight against the two-time world championships silver medallist Kamshybek Kunkabayev, who is also aiming for his third successive medal at the Asian Championships.
Current national champion Punjab boxer Varinder Singh (60kg) is the other Indian pugilist who will be looking to confirm a medal for the country as he will take on Jere Cruz of Philippines in lightweight last-8 bout.
In the 81kg opening round bout played late in the night on Monday, Sumit Sangwan suffered a 5-0 defeat against Iranian boxer Meysam Gheshlaghi.
The on-going Championships has been witnessing the presence of 150 boxers from 17 countries including strong boxing nations such as India, Uzbekistan, Philippines and Kazakhstan.