Indian boxers Deepak Bhoria (51kg) and Nishant Dev (71kg) put in a dominant performance to advance to the quarter-finals of the men’s world championships on Tuesday. Deepak continued his good run in the tournament, sweeping aside China’s Zhangh Jiamao by a 5-0 unanimous verdict in the round of 16 at 51 kg. Nishant, on the other hand, barely broke a sweat as he recorded an RSC first round victory (referee stops the match) against Palestine’s Foqahaa Nidal in his last 16 match at 71 kg.
The two and Mohammed Hussamuddin (57kg), who will face Bulgaria’s J. Diaz Ibanez in the quarterfinals, are one win away from securing medals. Such was Nishant’s domination that he spent less than a minute in the ring before being declared the winner. The Indian southpaw resorted to body blows before striking Nidal with a powerful right hook that forced the referee to give the Palestinian his first standing count. Seconds later, Nishant unleashed a combination of left-right-left hooks as Nidal fell to the canvas, forcing the referee to give him his second count before stopping the match.
Nishant will face Cuba’s Jorge Cuellar in the quarterfinals. Deepak competed in the 51 kg Olympic category and put in another brilliant performance. While the first round was neck and neck, with both boxers throwing punches, the 25-year-old Indian managed to take a meager 3-2 lead. He went into defense mode at the start of the second round and used his counterattack to hit some heavy left hooks to his opponent.
The Haryana boxer then increased the pace in the last three minutes. He used his nimble foot to move around the ring, landing a combination of punches while dodging away from his opponent’s attacks quite effortlessly. “My strategy was to use my strongest weapon in the match, which is my left hook, and everything went according to our plan in the match,” Deepak said after the win.
On Sunday, Deepak pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament as he edged out Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist and 2021 world champion Saken Bibossinov of Kazakhstan. Deepak was selected ahead of World Championship silver medalist Amit Panghal and the 25-year-old has put in impressive performances in all three matches he has played so far. He will now play his next match against Kyrgyzstan’s Diushebaev Nurzhigit and will look to secure a medal for India. Sachin and Akash bow – both boxers went down to the Kazakh boxers by a similar 5-0 margin.
While Sachin was expelled by Makhmud Sabyrkhan, Akash was dismissed by Dulat Bekbauov. Akash had a slow start and grew in the game with each round, but in the end it wasn’t enough for the judges to give decisions in his favor. On the other hand, Sachin started brightly as he landed heavy punches on his opponent in the first round. After an even second round, the fight went to the wire in the final round where Sabyrkhan showed his experience to beat the Indian boxer.