New Delhi: Competing in only his second senior international event, Youth Olympics silver-medallist Shiva Thapa entered the quarterfinals of the Asian Olympic Boxing Qualifiers after notching up a comprehensive win in his opening bout in Astana, Kazakhstan on Saturday.
The 18-year-old Assamese defeated Afghan Mohammad Khaiber Nooristani 14-7 after getting a first-round bye in the bantamweight 56kg division. He now has a tough bout at hand as he will be up against 2004 Olympic silver-medallist Worapoj Petchkoom of Thailand on Monday.
The 30-year-old Petchkoom is a bantamweight veteran, having won a bronze medal at the 2006 Doha Asian Games.
"It was a tough bout for Shiva. The Afghan guy was taller and was bending a lot but Shiva dominated the bout. He came up with some good right crosses and uppercuts to win," national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu told PTI from Astana.
The Indian, who won a gold in his maiden senior international event (Belgrade Winner Tournament), led 5-2 in the opening round. He garnered another five points in the second round against his rival`s three to remain ahead.
Shiva kept the momentum to emerge 14-7 triumphant in the final scoreline.
In the evening session, Suranjoy Singh will face off against Mongolia`s Tugstsogt Nyambayar, who was his nemesis in both the 2009 and 2011 World Championships.