Indian boxers Sparsh Kumar and Lakshya Chahar kickstarted India’s campaign at the Asian Boxing Championships 2022 in Amman, Jordan, on a high by winning their respective bouts by identical 5-0 scorelines on the opening day on Tuesday.
Sparsh Kumar (51kg) was up against Kyrgyzstan’s Diushebaev Nurzhigit in the round of 32 and the Punjab boxer displayed sharp foot movement and precise punches to notch a comfortable 5-0 win against his opponent. The southpaw dictated the pace of the bout right from the beginning and did not allow his opponent to settle.
The Indian boxer will face Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov, an Olympic bronze medallist and reigning world champion, in the pre-quarterfinals on Wednesday. Commonwealth Games 2022 bronze medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin (57kg) will also be in action on Wednesday along with Sparsh Kumar in their pre-quarterfinal bouts.
Later in the day, Lakshya Chahar (80kg) also defeated Shabbos Negmat of Tajikistan 5-0 in his round of 16 bout and advanced to the quarter-finals.
The Asian Boxing Championships 2022, being held in Amman, will see 267 boxers from 27 top boxing nations compete. India have sent a 25-member team to the meet.
Five-time Asian Medallist Shiva Thapa (63.5kg) as well as seven other Indian male boxers, Ananta (54kg), Hussamuddin (57kg), Etash Khan (60kg), Amit Kumar (67kg), Sachin (71kg), Lakshya (80kg) and Kapil (86kg) will begin their campaign in the pre-quarterfinals.
Govind Sahani (48kg), Sumit (75kg), Naveen (92kg) and Narender (92+kg) will be starting from the quarter-finals after receiving first round byes.
Among the women’s boxers, Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain will start her campaign against 2016 world champion Valentina Khalzova of Kazakhstan in the quarter-final on Saturday. Lovlina who has changed her weight category from 69kg will be boxing in her first international tournament in the 75kg weight category in Amman.
Simranjit Kaur (60kg), a 2018 world championships bronze medallist, is making a comeback in the tournament and will be up against Asian Games gold medallist and two-time Asian champion Yeonji Oh of Korea in the quarter-finals on Sunday.
Among the other women boxers, Monika (48kg), Minakshi (52kg), Sakshi (54kg), Preeti (57kg), Parveen (63kg), Ankushita Boro (66kg), Pooja (70kg) and Savita (50kg) will also kick-off their campaign from the quarter-final stage. Saweety Boora (81kg) and Alfiya Pathan (+81kg) will be starting in the semi-finals. In the previous edition of the tournament, held in Dubai last year, the Indian contingent won 16 medals and ensured the country’s best-ever performance at the championships.
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