Mixed luck for Indian pugilists
Melbourne, Mar 17 (UNI) Manchester Games silver medallist Som Bahadur Pun put up a valiant fight but fell by the way side while two other Indians Vijender and Harpreet Singh recorded resounding victories in their bouts in the boxing competition of the Commonwealth Games here today.
In the 64 kg light welter category, Sam Bahadur Pun lost to home favourite Australian Todd Alan Kidd on points (31-19) but in the 69 kg welter and in 91 kg heavy, Vijender and Harpreet proved too strong for their respective rivals Poleti Seipua of Samoa and South African Sean Santana forcing referees to stop the bouts.
Som Bahadur was technically better than his Australian rival. The Indian started attacking from the word go but his taller opponent was cautious and held back his punches.
The Indian attacked and landed his punches accurately to rattle Kidd as he led the first round 5-4 but committed the mistake of trying to knock down Kidd instead of hitting and maintaining distance from him in the second round. Kidd backed by a vociferous crowd started landing punches all over the Indian.
In the second round, Kidd took the lead as he garnered 10 points as against bahadur's three.
Som trying to close the gap in the penultimate round went flat out on the offensive and in the process dropped his guard. He failed to get past the Australian's solid defence.
Kidd unleashed a flurry of jab and some of his punches landed on the Indian with a telling effect but full credit to Som, who did not give up. The Australian won the third round but with a narrow margin (10-7) but had built up an unbeatable lead (24-15) by then.
In the last round Kidd adopted defensive tactics while Som attacked but it was too little too late for the Indian. Kidd emerged winner 31-19 (4-5, 10-3, 10-7, 7-4).
Meanwhile, in the 69 kg Vijender proved too strong for Poleti Seipua. The Indian led the three rounds with a convincing lead when midway through the penultimate round referee stopped the contest.
The Indian was leading 25-5 when the bout was stopped.
In the 91 kg, Harpreet Singh thrashed Sean Santana dominating the ring and never gave his rival any quarter. His jabs and hooks unnerved the South African who tried to run around the ring but could not avoid getting punished.
Sean looked helpless as Harpreet rained blows and in the 35th second of the fourth round referee came to his rescue and stopped the contest.
Harpreet has a good chance to win a medal as in the quarterfinal he will be facing a little known Fijian boxer N T Cagiloaloa.
UNI HSB PM DS1319