World boxing meet: Devendro, Manoj make it to London Olympics

October 4th, 2011 - 7:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 4 (IANS) Devendro Singh (49kg) and Manoj Kumar (64kg) qualified for the 2012 London Olympics by advancing to the quarter-finals of the World Boxing Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan Tuesday.

While Manoj edged past China’s Qing Hu 17:15 with a well calculated approach, Devendro continued to tame the higher-ranked opponents, this time triumphing over seventh seed Carlos Quipo of Ecuador.

Dinesh Kumar (81kg), however, missed his chance to qualify for the Olympics after losing 7:16 to Damien Hooper of Australia.

Manoj, playing in the light welter weight division, was up against a much taller Qing. The Chinese boxer took full advantage of his height and Manoj found it difficult to connect his punches, trailing by a three point-deficit after the opening round of play (3:6).

But the Indian boxer’s strategy of blocking and attacking allowed him to get inside Qing’s long reaching arms and score a few crucial points. Qing, who seemed to be losing energy quickly, resorted to continuously holding his opponent, for which he was given two warning. The cautions helped the Indian’s cause of levelling the scores and taking the lead.

The last few minutes of the bout saw Manoj capitalise on Qing’s misfortunes as the Commonwealth Games golf medallist went on to secure a victory in the last eight.

Meanwhile, Devendro continued his purple patch at the Championships with another scintillating performance. Up against 2010 American Continental Champion Carlos Quipo, the 19-year-old with his lightning fast punches and equally good footwork quickly gained a 5:2 lead. The Ecuador boxer came back strongly in the second round, but Devendro held on to his lead.

Both the boxers came hard at each other in the final round but the nippy Manipuri, with swift combinations, managed to gain crucial points once again. In the end, he clinched a 18:12 victory along with an Olympic berth.

Asian Games gold medallist Vikas Krishnan (69kg) will take on Onder Sipal of Turkey while Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Jai Bhagwan (60kg) will square up against seventh seed David Joyce of Ireland later Tuesday.

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