Indian boxer Sumit Sangwan (81kg) advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of the AIBA World Olympic Qualification tournament on Sunday after securing a hard-fought win over eighth seed Juan Carlos Carrillo of Colombia in Baku.
The 23-year-old triumphed 2-1 in round of 32 contest against the world No.16, who is a former Youth Olympics silver-medallist.
“Sumit boxed very intelligently. He tried to keep his opponent at long range and struck some brilliant straight punches to his body and face. As I saw it, he dominated in all the three rounds,” national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu told PTI.
“His opponent was stout and had a powerful swing which Sumit dodged beautifully with his footwork. It was all the more good to watch because Indians generally struggle against southpaw boxers,” he added.
Sumit, who is hitting his strides after recovering from a string of injuries last year, will face Mongolia’s Erdenebayar Sandagsuren in the pre-quarters on Tuesday.
However, it was heartbreak for Satish kumar (+91kg), who had to bow out owing to a cut above his eye during his pre-quarterfinal bout against Ireland’s Dean Gardiner.
Satish sustained the cut in the first round itself and the bout had to be stopped in the second round owing to the seriousness of his injury.
Earlier, Amritpreet Singh (91kg) had also bowed out of the event after losing in the opening round.
The tournament has 39 qualifying spots up for grabs -- two in the 49kg category, five each in 52kg, 56kg, 60kg, 64kg, 69kg, 75kg and 81kg, and one each in 91kg and +91kg. Over 400 boxers from more than 100 countries are vying for these slots in the final qualifying tournament for amateur boxers.
India have not sent any entry in the 56kg category as Shiva Thapa has already qualified for the Rio Games during the Asian qualifiers in March.