World and Asian medallist boxer Shiva Thapa lived up to his billing as he began his campaign in the Commonwealth Games with an emphatic win over Pakistan’s Suleman Baloch in a men’s 63.5kg first round bout at the National Exhibition Centre Hall-4 in Birmingham on Friday.
Thapa posted a 5-0 win in a one-sided contest to fix a pre-quarterfinal date with another World championships bronze medallist Scotland’s Reese Lynch, on Sunday. Lynch outpunched Kiribati’s Timon Aree with the referee stopping the contest.
The experienced Indian began confidently by landing solid left jabs and body shots from a distance. Thapa won the first round easily and continued to maintain his upper hand using his fast hands.
Seven-time Pakistan National champion Baloch desperately tried to catch up and witnessed a point being deducted for holding Thapa in the second round.
Thapa beautifully covered the ring and displayed his combinations through counterattacks to leave Baloch clueless in the third and final round. Clearly, the Indian used the full duration of the bout to get some valuable ring time ahead of an important contest against a stronger rival.