New Delhi: Bantamweight boxer Shiva Thapa put up an impressive show against Chinese Taipei's Li Lin Yen to book his place in the quarter-finals of the Asian Championships in Amman, Jordan on Friday.
With Olympian L Devendro Singh (49 kg) getting a bye in his pre-quarterfinal match, half of the Indian team now stands a chance to make the final four of their respective weight divisions.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar (64 kg), National Games bronze medallist Mandeep Jangra (69 kg) and reigning National Champion Sukhdeep Singh (75 kg) had qualified for the last-eight on Thursday.
Thapa (56kg), gold medal winner at the 2012 Asian Olympic Qualifying tournament, came out all charged against Lin Yen, who was caught off guard against the young Indian.
Thapa, making his second international appearance since the 2012 London Olympics, made some sharp attacks coupled with great footwork to complete a much-deserved win and enter the quarters with a unanimous decision from the judges.
In the next round, he will square off against Kazakhstan National Champion Kairat Yeraliyev.
Earlier in the tournament, L Devendro, a bronze medallist at the Limassol Boxing Cup in Cyprus, secured his spot in the quarters by virtue of a bye. The 21-year-old will now face off against a young and upcoming Uzbek boxer Nodirjon Mirzakhmedov.
But, there was disappointment in store for the Indian boxers in other weight divisions.
Olympian and Asian Games silver medallist, Dinesh Kumar (91kg) seemed out of sorts in his quarterfinal encounter against Mirzabek Hasanov of Uzbekistan. Dinesh tried hard to overpower the Uzbek boxer with some feisty blows in the final round as well, but was unable to make the necessary damage.
His campaign at the Asian Championships came to an end with loss on a split decision.
Gold medal winner at the Limassol Boxing Cup, Madan Lal (52kg) also came up short in his pre-quarterfinal bout against Shakhobiddin Zoirov of Uzbekistan. Zoirov's early pace and domination proved to be the undoing of Lal.
In the light weight division, Olympian and reigning Continental Champion Yunusov Anvar of Tajikistan got the better of Vikash Malik. Super heavy weight boxer Satish Kumar (+91kg) also suffered a similar fate at the hands of London Olympics bronze medallist Dychko Ivan of Kaxakhstan.
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