India assured of a boxing medal

Published on Mar 21, 2006 02:26 PM IST

Harpreet Singh stormed into semifinals thrashing his Fijian rival so badly that the referee had to stop the fight midway.

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None | ByHarpal Singh Bedi (UNI), Melbourne

Unleashing punches with lightning speed, Harpreet Singh assured India of a boxing medal when he outclassed Tawaka Cagiloaloa of Fiji to storm into the semifinals of the 91kg bout in the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday.

However, another Indian boxer, Ajay Kumar, lost to Kenya's Ndere Makonjio on points in the quarterfinals of 81 kg light heavyweight category.

As per rules, both the losing semifinalists get a bronze medal each as there is no playoff for the third place.

Twenty six-year-old Harpreet was utterly ruthless in dealing with his Fijian rival. The tall and well built Indian thrashed Cagiloaloa so badly that the referee had to stop the contest midway through the third round.

This was the second successive bout India won on RSC (referee stop contest).

Harpreet attacked from the first bell and Cagiloaloa had no defence to offer. The Fijian was poor in attack and worse in defence. He gave the Indian too many openings to land his punches.

The punishment was so severe that even the spectators in the hall started shouting, asking the referee to intervene.

The Fijian ran around the ring like a scared animal being chased by a hungry tiger. Harpreet's direct punches landed on the Fijian's body with telling effect and the jabs and hooks which came fast and thick devastated him. Cagiloaloa lost the first round 3-10 and second 0-9 and was trailing 3-7 in the third when the contest was stopped.

Harpreet will now take on Anderson Emmanuel Fitzgerald of Barbados in the semifinal on Thursday.

In 81 kg, 26-year-old Ajay Kumar went down to Kenyan Ndere Makonjio on points 10-18.

In a lacklustre bout, the Indian put up a semblance of fight only in the second round. Ndere did not go all out on attack. He fought a percentage bout, landed his punches direct with good effect and exposed the Indian defence.

Ajay wasted his energy by running around and hitting blows without any effect. Most of his punches did not earn him a point as the African boxer defended himself well.

The Indian trailed 2-4 in the first round but raised the hope of a fightback when he levelled the second round 5-5. But in the third round he looked very tired and seemed to have exhausted his energy in the second round. Ndere sapped the Indian in the third round and realising that Ajay was vulnerable, he thrashed him with jabs and hooks and then with powerful punches to win the fourth round 6-1.

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