EKATERINBURG (Russia) :
COMMONWEALTH Games silver-medallist Manish Kaushik (63kg) hardly broke a sweat as he out-punched Kyrgyzstan’s Uulu Argen Kadyrbek to enter the second round of the World men’s Boxing Championship. Kaushik prevailed 5-0 in the thoroughly lopsided opening-round bout. He will next face the Netherlands’ Enrico Lacruz.
The only Indian in action on Thursday, Kaushik was advised to keep his distance from Kadyrbek by his corner and he executed the plan to perfection. The first round was relatively uneventful before Kaushik took control of the proceedings with his accurately-placed combination punches. It also helped that his rival was neither quick nor had the ferocity in punches to cause any concern for the Indian, who got the unanimous nod of the judges. On Tuesday, Brijesh Yadav (81kg) won his opening bout to enter the round of 32. Earlier, Asian champion Amit Panghal (52kg), and the Asian silver-winning duo of Kavinder Singh Bisht (57kg) and Ashish Kumar (75kg) got first-round byes.
The World Championship was meant to be an Olympic qualifier and features the revised eight weight categories (52kg, 57kg, 63kg, 69kg, 75kg, 81kg, 91kg, +91kg) earmarked for Tokyo 2020, instead of the traditional 10 divisions. However, the event was stripped of that status after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) lost patience with the long-standing administrative mess in the International Boxing Association (AIBA). The IOC took control of the Olympics qualification process, which will now start next year with the Asian qualifiers in February.