Olympic-bound Indian boxers Shiva Thapa and Vikas Krishan started their build-up for the mega-event on a winning note by entering the second round of the third International Republic of Kazakhstan Presidents Cup in Almaty. Shiva (56kg) and Vikas (69kg) registered contrasting wins on the opening day of the event.
While Shiva had to dig deep against Prudkiy Oleg of Ukraine,Vikas powered through with ease against Ashkeev Madiyar. Shiva faced some tough opposition from the Ukrainian boxer. He was down a point after the opening three minutes (3-4) but came back strongly in the second round. With swift counter-attacks and combinations,the he turned the table and soon gained the advantage (8-7).
In the final round every time Prudkiy stuck,Shiva immediately reciprocated with his lightening fast jabs. He finally won the contest 12-10. Shiva,the youngest Indian boxer to secure an Olympic berth,will have to be on the top of his game in the next round as he takes on Cuban boxer Alvanes Estrado.
In the welter weight division,Vikas faced little resistance from Ashkeev Madiyar of the Almaty team. The 2010 Asian Games gold medallist dominated proceeding right from the beginning,never letting his opponent settle into a rhythm.
After two rounds,Vikas was leading 6-4,when he launched an offensive onslaught to which the Kazakh boxer had no answer. The 20-year-old Indian went on to win the bout 11-5. He now takes on Kojabekov Bakhitjan of the Kazakhstan 2 team in the next round.
But there was disappointment for India in the light heavyweight and the lightweight categories. Sumit Sangwan (81kg),up against Abdullev Askar of Kazakh 3 team,lost on countback after tied 7-7 in the regulation three rounds. Jai Bhagwan (60kg) came up short against Bashnev Samat.