India’s promising pugilist Ashish Kumar stuns fourth-seeded Omurbek Bekzhigit Uulu of Kyrgyzstan to storm into the quarterfinals of the Asian/Oceanic Olympic Qualifiers on Thursday. Ashish is now just one win away from securing a quota in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. In the last-16 encounter, Ashish prevailed with a unanimous 5-0 verdict in one of the most lop-sided contest. He has set up a clash with Indonesia’s Maikhel Roberrd Muskita. Also Read - AIBA Threatens BFI With Suspension on Delay Over International Dues; Latter Promises to Clear Debts by May 20
Muskita defeated New Zealand’s Ryan Scaife in his pre-quarterfinal bout. Making the semifinals would assure Ashish of his maiden spot in the Olympics scheduled in July-August this year. Also Read - India Loses Hosting Rights of Men's World Boxing Championships After BFI Fails to Pay Host Fee
Up against a spunky rival, who he defeated in the Asian quarterfinals last year, Ashish played the waiting game to perfection, allowing Uulu to expend himself trying to connect. Also Read - I Went Into Depression For Being Unable to Resume my Treatment: Dingko Singh
Uulu swung his arms more than the Indian but it was Ashish who connected more accurately in the opening three minutes.
However, Uulu kept up the pressure in the second round as well and managed to land a couple of solid rights, which caught the Indian off-guard and led to scores being split.
Ashish’s powerful and precise right hand served him well in the final three minutes as judges ruled unanimously in his favour.
On Wednesday, fast-rising women boxers Simranjit Kaur (60kg) and Sakshi Chaudhary (57kg) notched up hard-fought victories to enter the quarterfinals.
World Championships bronze-medallist Simranjit defeated Kazakhstan’s Rimma Volossenko 5-0, while former junior world champion Sakshi stunned Asian silver-medallist and fourth seed Nilawan Techasuep of Thailand in a split 4-1 verdict.
(With PTI Inputs)