Deepak Bhoria (51kg) shocked defending champion and Olympic bronze medallist Saken Bibosinov, while Mohammad Hussamuddin (57kg) ousted fourth-seeded Eduard Savvin on a mixed day for Indian pugilists at the World boxing championships in Tashkent on Sunday.
“My target was to play with patience since the start of the bout and gather as many points as I can. The first two rounds were tough but I was focused on not losing my patience and waiting for the right moment to attack,” Deepak said after a memorable win.
“Coaches had told me to lure my opponent with the right punch before using my left hook to good effect. It worked as I connect a lot of left hooks to get points. Every bout is important for me and I play every match like it’s a final match for me,” he added.
Two others, Sumit Kundu (75kg) and Narender Berwal (+92kg), lost their respective bouts.
In a keenly-fought round-of-32 contest, Bhoria stunned Bibosinov 5-2 after review of the bout.
Against the skilful southpaw, who landed some accurate straight punches from a long range, Bhoria – who had upset former World and Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoirov in 2021 – delivered combinations when he found the Kazakh within his reach. However, the Indian narrowly lost the first round 2-3.
Bhoria used his hit-and-move strategy for most of the second round before Bibosinov, despite bleeding from his right eyebrow, raised the tempo to stay marginally ahead.
After the Kazakh took the first two rounds, Bhoria fought his heart out and connected some lovely straight ones and hooks in the final period in a fast exchange of punches and got a favourable verdict.
Bhoria will meet Zhang Jiamao of China in the pre-quarterfinals.
Hussamuddin toppled Russian Savvin 5-0 in the last-16 stage to set up a quarterfinal clash with fifth-seeded European bronze medallist Javier Ibanez Diaz of Bulgaria.
Hussamuddin moved in and out to execute eye-catching body and head shots on the taller Russian, who threw blows from a long range, and claimed the first round 4-1.
A fine assortment of punches helped Hussamuddin keep the gritty Russian in check by securing a 4-0 decision in his favour in the second round.
As Savvin displayed more aggression, Hussamuddin defended and countered well to stay unaffected.
Sumit fought hard before losing 1-3 to undefeated Russian professional boxer Pavel Sosulin in the round of 32. Narender went down fighting 0-5 to Cuban Fernando Arzola in the pre-quarterfinals.
(With inputs from PTI)
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