Indias World No. 3 Shiva Thapa, Manish Kaushik, and Sarjubala led the country’s charge into the next round of the India Open International Boxing tournament at the Thyagraj Indoor Stadium here on Monday.
Shiva started his campaign with a resounding 5-0 victory over Bhutan’s Dorji Wangdi. He didn’t exert himself though, preferring to reserve his energy for the sterner stuff ahead.
Dorji, however, didn’t look overawed by his accomplished opponent, even cleverly going into a shell each time Shiva came out attacking.
Shiva boxed smartly, prying open his opponent’s guard and picking his spots effectively.
Manish also turned in a stellar performance against Cuba’s Martinez Rabi in the lightweight category. The Cuban found Manish a hard target as the Indian moved around the ring, bobbing and weaving, often forcing his opponent to miss his shots.
Manish himself unleashed his venomous left hooks, uppercuts, and jabs to good effect, often catching the Cuban by surprise as the crowd egged him on. He eventually went on the win the bout by a narrow verdict 3-2.
Sarjubala was in a league of her own as she peppered her Kenyan opponent with a flurry of short bursts, mixing her jabs and combinations with fluency.
The Kenyan was not one to give up though; she too came out with all her guns blazing. The final outcome was a no-brainer as the diminutive Indian sailed home 5-0 victor.
Boxers from Thailand and the Philippines too had a fairly successful day with a couple of their boxers coming through to the second round.