World Boxing Championships 2019: India continues unbeaten run

Duryodhan Singh Negi (69kg) claimed a 4-1 triumph over Armenia’s Koryun Astoyan in the first round.

Duryodhan Singh won his debut match at the AIBA World Boxing Championships.   -  REPRESENTATIONAL PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

National champion Duryodhan Singh Negi (69kg) claimed an exhausting 4-1 triumph over Armenia’s Koryun Astoyan in his opening bout to enter the second round of the World Men’s Boxing Championships here on Friday.

The Indian will face Jordan’s sixth seed Zeyad Eashash in the round of 32 on Monday. Eashash got a bye in the opening round.

Astoyan seemed intimidated by the more muscular Indian but wasn’t lacking in effort. His punches were, however, not connecting as powerfully. The Armenian began to run out of steam in the second round and Negi took advantage to land a few lusty combination blows.

Astoyan’s defence was particularly weak and he tried to make up for it by constantly being on the move. The strategy was tiring for both but Negi endured it much better.

The final three minutes were a lopsided affair in which Astoyan was mostly left scurrying for cover even though one judge favoured him over the Indian.

Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Manish Kaushik (63kg) and Brijesh Yadav (81kg) had earlier won their opening bouts to enter the second round.

On the other hand, Asian champion Amit Panghal (52kg), and the Asian silver-winning duo of Kavinder Singh Bisht (57kg) and Ashish Kumar (75kg) got first-round byes.

The World Championship was meant to be an Olympic qualifier and features the revised eight weight categories (52kg, 57kg, 63kg, 69kg, 75kg, 81kg, 91kg, +91kg) earmarked for 2020 Tokyo Olympics, instead of the traditional 10 divisions.

However, the event was stripped of that status after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) lost patience with the long-standing administrative mess in the International Boxing Association (AIBA).

The IOC took control of the Olympics qualification process, which will now start next year with the Asian qualifiers in February.

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