World champions Nikhat Zareen and young Sagar Ahlawat advanced to the quarterfinals of their respective weight categories at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday. But, it was tough for Shiva Thapa (63.5kg) and Sumit Kundu (75kg) as they dropped out of 16. Zareen (56kg) defeated Helena Ismail Bagao of Mozambique to enter the last eight rounds of the women’s lightweight category, winning the RSC (Referee Stopping Competition).
Making his India debut, Sagar (92kg) put up a strong performance to win over Cameroon’s Maxim Yegnong Njio by a 5-0 decision.
Thapa crashed out of the Games in a disappointing 1-4 loss to World Championships bronze medalist Reese Lynch of Scotland, while Sumit lost to Australia’s Callum Peters by a 0-5 unanimous decision in the middleweight pre-quarterfinals.
The first Indian boxer to enter the ring that day, Zareen was no match for her young rival as she dominated the bout from start to finish.
The Indian used his rich experience to trouble Bagao from the very beginning. She came out attacking and used a combination of left and right punches to dominate her opponent.
Zareen fired clean punches in the face of his opponent in the final round and completely jolted him, forcing the referee to annul the tie with 48 seconds remaining.
Zareen will next face Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Troy Garten of New Zealand in the quarterfinals, where a win will take her to the podium.
Zareen said that she will not settle for less than any gold from the event.
She said after her bout, “I am happy that I won my first match and I am looking forward to do well in the next round. I am just one fight away from a medal but I want to win gold from here.”
Thapa made a brilliant start to outdo his opponent in the opening round.
But overconfidence and lack of focus cost Thapa the next two rounds as Scott used his height and long reach for clear punches.
Going into the third and final round, Thapa was still in the competition, but Lynch surprised his opponent with his aggressive approach as the Indian had no choice but to defend.
Ultimately, the result deservedly went in Lynch’s favor as he was the far better boxer in the competition.
Like Thapa, debutant Sumit also led the bout after the first round, but Indian inexperience carried him in the last two rounds.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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