Three more Indian pugilists in World Boxing 2nd round

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Chicago, Oct 26: Three Indian pugilists registered convincing victories while two of their compatriots fell by the wayside on the third day of World Boxing Championship here.

Jai Bhagwan was the most impreesive of the Indians as he brushed aside Valertino Knowles of Bahamas 35-12 in 60kg while Jitender Kumar (51kg) and Dilbag Singh (69kg) were 20-14 and 13-5 victorious over Moldova's Igori Samoilenco and Lithuania's Roman Skerlo respectively in their opening round bouts at the University of Illinois-Chicago Pavilion yesterday.

However, Balbir Singh (48kg) and Jasveer Singh (81kg) bit the dust in their opening round bouts of the first qualifying event for next year's Beijing Olympics.

Balbir lost 11-27 to Birzham Zhakypov of Kazakhstan while Jasveer was roundly thrashed by Zhang Xiaoping of China 3-17.

Jitender now sets up a second round bout tomorrow against Germany's Ronny Belbik who beat Colombian Urina William Serna 16-13 in his opening bout.

Bhagwan and Dilbag will have their second round bouts on Sunday against Georgia's Vasil Qazishvili and Zoran Mitrovic of Serbia.

Qazishvili defeated South African Owethu Mbira 28-15 while Mitrovic was 17-12 winner over England's Neil Perkins in their opening round bouts.

Five of the eight Indian boxers who took part in the championships are now in the second round after Doha Asian Games bronze medallist Vijender Singh (75kg) and A L Lakra (57kg) advancing on Wednesday.

In fact, the Indians started the day on a gloomy note with Balbir suffering a 11-27 thrashing from Birzham Zhakypov of Kazakhstan.

But Jitender, who won bronze in Melbourne Commonwealth Games, brought cheers to the Indian camp with a tactical game.

He was never outright superior to his Moldovian opponent. He led 7-5 after the first round and was 15-12 leader after the third. But, he came up trumps in the final round and took three more points than his challenger to close the bout 20-14.

In case of Dilbag, though it turned out to be a low scoring bout, the Indian was never in trouble. He was 2-4 and 3-7 up after first and second rounds and took the fight out of reach from his Lithuanian opponent by racing 5-12 ahead in the third and played a backpedalling game in the final round to deny his opponent any score.

But, it was Bhagwan who was the most impressive among the Indians. He was at his elements best and, after a cautious first round which he led 6-3, the Indian opened up with a flurry of punches and raced ahead 17-5 and 27-9 after the second and third rounds.

With victory assured, Bhagwan took it easy in the final round but still scored five more points than his opponent from Bahamas to walk away 35-12 winner.

India, however, closed the day with a loss with Jasveer Singh simply being outplayed by his superior rival. The Indian trailed throughout the bout and could score only one point in the first, none in the second and third rounds.

By the end of the third round the writing was on the wall with Jasveer 1-11 behind his opponent before his Chinese opponent completing formalities.

Making the quarterfinals of the championship -- the largest ever in history -- would be enough for the Indians to secure a berth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

India are not competing in 91kg and +91kg categories for which top four finishers will make to Beijing.

Majority of the 650 plus boxers, including the Indians, will have three rounds before quarter-finals while some others have only two en-route to last eight round, as they got byes.

More than 650 top pugilists from 120 countries are vying for honours in the championship, making it the largest ever boxing championships.

UNI

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