New Delhi, Nov 3: Having secured India's historic seventh medal in the tournament, Akash Kumar will be looking to continue his stellar show and enter the final at the 2021 AIBA Men's World Championships when he takes on Kazakhstan's Makhmud Sabyrkhan in the 54kg semifinal in Belgrade, Serbia on Thursday.
The 21-year-old boxer, who hails from Bhiwani, made his way into the semifinals after causing a major upset in the 21st edition of the tournament when he handed a crushing 5-0 defeat to Rio Olympics silver medallist and strong contender Yoel Finol of Venezuela.
On the other hand, 20-year-old young Kazakh star Sabyrkhan sealed his spot in the semifinals after outclassing Brazil's first quarterfinalist at the Championships, Michael Trinidade.
With a place in the semifinals, debutant Akash joined an elite list of medal-winning Indian pugilists at the world's one of the biggest boxing events. Amit Panghal (silver, 2019), Vijender Singh (bronze, 2009), Vikas Krishan (bronze, 2011), Shiva Thapa (bronze, 2015), Gaurav Bidhuri (bronze, 2017) and Manish Kaushik (bronze, 2019) have won medals for the country at the men's World Championships in the past.
While Akash made his way into the last-4, four other Indians -- Sanjeet, Narender Berwal, Shiva Thapa and Nishant Dev -- ended their campaigns after suffering losses in their respective quarterfinal bout played late on Tuesday night.
The seasoned boxer Shiva Thapa went down to Turkey's Kerem Oezmen by unanimous margin in the 63.5kg last-8 match while it was yet another quarterfinal heartbreak for reigning Asian champion Sanjeet. The Indian conceded a 0-5 loss against Italy's Aziz Abbes Mouhiidine after suffering a biceps injury in the first round during the 92kg contest. In the last edition of the championships in 2019 as well, Sanjeet had exited in the quarter-finals stage.
Narender (+92kg) and Nishant (71kg) also lost to Azerbaijan's Mahammad Abdullayev and Russia's Vadim Musaev respectively in their quarterfinals.
The ongoing event has been witnessing thrilling action among 650 top boxers from more than 100 countries.
The gold medallists of each category will receive $100,000, while silver and bronze medallists will be given $50,000 and $25,000 respectively.