Boxing World Championships: Shiva Thapa, Vikas Krishan in quarters

Asian silver-medallist Vikas (75kg) got the better of European silver winner and fourth seeded Pole Tomasz Jablonski 2-1. Shiva (56kg), on the other hand, rallied to defeat the African champion Mohamed Hamout of Morocco to make the last-eight stage.

Shiva Thapa (75kg) got the better of European silver winner and fourth seeded Pole Tomasz Jablonski 2-1   -  Sandeep Saxena

Shiva Thapa and Vikas Krishan triumphed in their respective matches to enter the quarterfinals on an all-win day for Indian boxers at the World Championships in Doha on Thursday.

Asian silver-medallist Vikas (75kg) got the better of European silver winner and fourth seeded Pole Tomasz Jablonski 2-1. Shiva (56kg), on the other hand, rallied to defeat the African champion Mohamed Hamout of Morocco to make the last-eight stage.

The 21-year-old Shiva will be up against Qatar’s Hakan Erseker, who beat Vanuatu’s Boe Warawara 2-1. The 23-year-old Vikas, meanwhile, will face Egypt’s Hosam Abdin.

“Shiva was exceptionally good with his hooks and that eventually won him the bout. Even his combination punches on counter-attack were very accurate. It’s a very rare knockout win for an Indian boxer, I can’t recall any in my memory,” national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said.

“Vikas boxed superbly. The Polish guy was a tempo boxer but Vikas applied his mind well. He used uppercuts to the chin and occasional right hooks with precision,” added Sandhu analysing the overall performance.

First up in the ring for India on Thursday was Shiva and the Assam boxer knocked out his rival 26 seconds into the third and final round of the bout with a brutal left hook which landed right in between the eyes of Hamout.

The Moroccan instantly collapsed in the ring, leading to an eight count following which medical attendants escorted him out in a disoriented state.

But it was not a smooth start for Shiva. Both the boxers attacked from the first bell and in the opening three minutes, the judges ruled in favour of the Moroccan despite an even contest.

However, Shiva, a former silver-medallist from the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, relentlessly attacked in the second round and drew level via a split decision.

In the decisive third round, Shiva sealed the issue with a precise left hook, which caught Hamout completely off-guard.

Vikas, in contrast, drained his rival out with a brilliant counter-attacking strategy. Fighting with a shell guard, the 2011 World Championships bronze winner lapped up his chances meticulously with some well-connected uppercuts.

The clean hitting got him the scores as Vikas out-ran Jablonski in the first two rounds.

However, Jablonski fought back in the third round and won it unanimously but Vikas emerged the overall winner owing to his early lead.

“The plan was always to stand up tall and punch hard. I know that my opponent is a WSB regular and it was necessary to show that I was up for the fight. I wanted to do all the hitting today, dominate the first two rounds and I am happy that I have managed to do that,” Vikas said at the end of the match.

Vikas lost the third round to the Pole but added that he believed he had done enough to secure a comfortable victory.

“There was no real point in going all out in the third round. I knew I had landed some good punches, left my mark and I just wanted my defence to hold tight. It was a tactical call and it came off well,” he said.