Star Indian boxer Vijender Singh (75kg) continued his sublime form to enter the quarterfinals along with gritty youngster L Devendro Singh (49kg) in the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Monday.
Vijender, a former Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist, outpunched Namibia’s Mujandjae Kasuto 3-0 in a lopsided contest to make the last-eight stage.
The 28-year-old, who settled for a bronze in the previous edition of the Games, will now face Trinidad and Tobago’s Aaron Prince.
Such was the former world number one’s domination that he managed a perfect 10 score from every judge in each of the three rounds.
Earlier, Devendro (49kg) advanced to the quarterfinals with a hard-fought win but reigning Asian champion Shiva Thapa (56kg) made a shocking early exit.
Asian Championships silver-medallist Devendro made the quarterfinals after notching up a tough 2-1 victory over Sri Lanka’s Madushan Gamage.
The Indian started off confidently, getting a perfect 10 score from all three judges in the opening three minutes.
However, in the next round, Devendro, who looks to drain his opponents with a flurry of punches, was left surprised when Gamage came back strongly to clinch it 29-28.
However, the Indian youngster muzzled the challenge in the deciding three minutes, snatching it 30-28 to be just one more win away from assuring himself of a medal in his debut Commonwealth Games.
The 22-year-old Manipuri will face Scotland’s Aqeel Ahmed in the last-eight stage on July 30.
On a disappointing note, Shiva Thapa (56kg) went down to Olympic bronze-medallist Michael Conlan of Northern Ireland.
The Assam boxer found the going tough against the crowd favourite despite the fact that Conlan had endured a cut on his head during his opening bout.
Conlan dominated the opening round clinching it 30-28. The second and third rounds were a tad closer but the Irishman held his own to outwit Shiva.
To add to his woes, Shiva also ended up getting warned for clinching and bending too much.
Vijender said the ploy be to aggressive from the start paid for him.
“My plan was to hit him hard from the opening round itself. And I succeeded in doing that when I connected a powerful left hook. That set the bout for me and from there I dominated. I won’t said it was an easy bout but I managed to execute my plan well,” Vijender told PTI.
Devendro Singh was happy to come through a tough round. “It was a very difficult opponent for me and I made a few mistakes in the ring but thankfully I came through in the end,” he said.
Talking about his next opponent Aqeel Ahmed from Scotland, he said,”It will be a real thrill for me to fight the Scottish boxer in two days. The crowd are very passionate about the home athletes but I’ll use that to inspire me as well.”
On his medal prospects he said,”I came very close to getting a medal at the Olympic Games in London (he was a beaten quarter-finalist), so to show I’m progressing in my boxing career I’m aiming to win one in Glasgow.”
Meanwhile, Shiva Thapa said the warning he received “totally changed the fight”.
“It’s very difficult to come back and win after a warning. We were both using head butts and it’s down to the referee and what, according to him, is correct.”
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