Disappointing Olympic debut for Shiva Thapa
London: India`s young pugilist Shiva Thapa`s first Olympic experience turned out to be short-lived as Mexico`s Oscar Valdez Fierro outpunched him in the very first round of the boxing event at the ExCel South Arena here today.
Thapa, the youngest boxer in the team to make the cut at just 18 years, lacked the experience to counter the Mexican who carved out a comfortable 14-9 victory in the men`s bantam (56 kg) category.
Thapa showed signs of staging a comeback in the second round which went in his favour 4-3 but the Mexican tilted the scale decisively in his favour in the third and last round with a 7-3 verdict, much to the disappointment of the Indian supporters who had come to cheer the teenaged sensation.
Many of the Indian contingent officials were also present at the venue to cheer Thapa who unfortunately could not make any further progress in his maiden Olympic Games.
The Indian youngster paid the price for being far too defensive in the opening round and it allowed his opponent to dictate terms.
In the crucial third round, the Mexican attacked with a vengeance as he unleashed a flurry of punches, forcing Thapa to virtually run for cover.
In the dying moments of the contest, Thapa was again forced to defend as a barrage of punches were unleashed at him.
"It is a little disappointing to start in this way, we were expecting that Shiva would go further though the competition at this level is very tough," said Brig P K Muralidharan Raja, who is the secretary of the Boxing Federation of India and is also the Acting Chef de Mission of the Indian contingent.
Fierro said after his clash that he was a little rusty and nervous before the bout against Thapa.
"I was a little rusty at first, a little nervous. I was a bit tired - that`s how it is with first fights. Now I`ve done the first fight I`m ready for the second," he said.
On getting backing from his family, he said "My cousin has come all the way from Mexico to support me.