India moves closer to boxing medals

Published on Mar 20, 2006 09:32 PM IST

Unleashing lethal blows, three Indian pugilists came closer to podium finish by storming into the quarterfinals.

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None | ByPress Trust of India, Melbourne

Unleashing lethal blows, three Indian pugilists came closer to podium finish by storming into the quarterfinals of the Commonwealth Games on Monday.

Featherweight Diwakar Prasad, bantamweight Akhil Kumar and flyweight Jitender Kumar won their pre-quarter bouts in style during the day to join compatriots Vijender, Ajay Kumar and Verghese Johnson, who reached the last eight stage on Sunday.

Diwakar Prasad, making a comeback after a long injury-induced break, outboxed Metisela Coriakula of Fiji when referee stopped the contest a minute and 47 seconds into the second round of the featherweight bout.

Diwakar, the only Indian pugilist to reach the second round at the Athens Olympics, landed a flurry of punches on his rival carding heavy scores of 14-3 and 13-4 during the match.

He next challenges Stephen Francis Smith of England for a place in the semis where both the contestants get bronze medals.

Bantamweight Akhil Kumar was faster in romping home against Atanas Mugerwa of Uganda when referee stopped the contest giving an outscored verdict a little over a minute into the third round of their duel.

The aggressive Indian was leading from the beginning and got scores of 11-4, 14-6 and 8-3 in the first three rounds.

His opponent was still to be decided.

Jitender Kumar defeated Meshack Letsopea of Lesotho on points 26-12 in another last 16 clash.

The only reverse came in the lightweight division, where Jai Bhagwan lost to England's Frankie Raymond Gavin on points 8-20.

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