Jai, Nanao advance to revive India`s World C`ship campaign

New Delhi: Jai Bhagwan pulled off a
come-from-behind win over Ireland`s Eric Donovan to enter the
pre-quarters today after Thokchom Nanao Singh pummelled
Azerbaijan`s Elvin Mamishzade in his opening bout to revive
India`s campaign at the World Boxing Championships in Milan.

While Jai (60kg) beat his rival 11-6, Nanao (48kg)
demolished Mamishzade 21-6 late last night to make it to the
second round of the mega-event.

Both Jai and Nanao were silver medallists at the Asian
Championships in June.

It was sweet revenge for Jai, who lost to Donovan by a
point at European Grand Prix event in Czech Republic in May.

Fighting from long range initially, Jai was trailing 1-4
at the end of the first round but he made a late recovery to
come through eventually.

"I was counterpunching to start with but once I knew that
I was trailing, I went for an all-out attack," Jai told reporters.

Jai`s recovery started in the second round when he
narrowed the gap in scoreline to 3-5 before out-punching his
rival in the third round.

"I kept my guard and managed to connect some hard ones in
the final round. I am very happy because I had lost to him in
a very close bout in May," said the 23-year-old, who will take
on Germany`s Eugen Burhard in the pre-quarters on Sunday.

Earlier last night, 18-year-old Nanao, competing in only
his second senior international event, decimated Mamishzade.
The diminutive Manipuri negated his strongly-built
opponent`s longer reach with aggressive uppercuts and straight
left jabs.

Nanao led 7-2 at the end of the first round and extended
it to 16-5 in the next three minutes. The Indian continued his
domination in the final round and notched up five quick points
to wrap up the bout in his favour.

"Nanao has such quick reflexes that even his short height
doesn`t hamper him much," said national coach Gurbax Singh

Nanao has a tough bout at hand in the second round as he
will square off against Pongprayoon Kaeo of Thailand tomorrow.

Kaeo defeated Kapezov Adlet of Kazakhstan in his opening bout.

The former world youth champion had lost a close bout to
the Thai in the finals of the Asian Championships.

Also tomorrow, middle weight top seed Vijender Singh will
open his campaign by taking on Kazakhstan`s Belgibayev Azamat
in the second round. The Indian had got a bye in first round.

"I have trained hard and I am confident of doing well
here. I am sure I can pull it off," said the 23-year-old world
number two, who lost in the very first round in the previous
edition of the event in Chicago in 2007.

Indians have had a largely disappointing campaign in the
event so far with four of the them bowing out with first-round

Bureau Report