New Delhi: Indian boxers Shiva Thapa (54kg) and J Bhaskar (51kg) notched up contrasting wins to advance to the pre-quarterfinals of the World Youth Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Shiva defeated England`s Qais Dad Ashfaq 4-1, while Bhaskar out-slugged Iran`s Armin Amjadian 12-4 to enter the last-16 stage. Both of them are just two wins away from not only securing a medal but also booking a berth in the August-September Youth Olympic Games in Singapore.
Late last night, Asian youth champion Naveen Kumar outclassed Serbia`s Boris Skapik to enter the pre-quarters. Naveen will take on local favourite Vatan Huseynli.
However, it was curtains for Asian youth silver medalist Devendro Singh Laishram who suffered a stunning 4-8 defeat against Naoya Ique of Japan in the light fly weight (48kg) second round.
Devendro, who was the first to take the ring for India, was tied 1-1 with his rival in the first round but Ique dominated the next two rounds to notch up a comfortable win.
Next man in for India was Bhaskar and he was aggressive from the word go, taking a 6-1 lead in the opening round. He widened the gap in the next two rounds. Up 9-2 in the second round, Bhaskar added three more points to his tally in the final round to seal the bout in his favour.
Bhaskar will be up against Algeria`s Reda Benbaziz, who defeated Czech Dusan Chromy in his second-round bout.
Shiva`s bout was a close affair at least initially. The Assamese teen was locked 1-1 with Ashfaq in the first three minutes but that was to be the only time he allowed his rival to connect a scoring punch.
The counter-puncher, who got a bye in the first round, made it 3-1 in the second round before closing it with just one point in the last three minutes.
Shiva, India`s first gold medallist at the prestigious Hyder Aliyev Cup for junior boxers, faces Swede Rejen Raza Abdulrahman, who got past Michael Habti of Ethiopia 10-2 in a second-round bout.