New Delhi: Asian Games silver-medallist Manpreet Singh took less than three minutes to win his opening bout and enter the quarterfinals of the Asian Olympic Boxing Qualifiers in Astana, Kazakhstan on Thursday.
Manpreet defeated Mongolia`s Toulyek Yerbolat in a lop-sided contest to inch closer to the finals, where he will have to win a gold to make the cut for the London Games.
Such was ferocity of the 25-year-old Army man`s right upper-cuts and straight punches that referee stopped the contest midway through the first round itself after Yerbolat ended up getting three mandatory counts. Manpreet will now face Chingis Borbashev of Kyrgyzstan in the last-eight stage.
"It was completely one-sided. Manpreet came good with his powerful uppercuts and straight rights. He fought extremely well," national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said.
In the evening session, Olympic and World Championships bronze-medallist Vijender Singh will open his campaign against Ishak Waez of Syria. Vijender will have to make the semifinals to make the Olympic cut.
Yesterday, Suranjoy Singh (52kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) had won their opening bouts. Suranjoy will tomorrow face off against Mongolia`s Tugstsogt Nyambayar, who was his nemesis in both the 2009 and 2011 World Championships. Sumit will square off against Kim Hyeongkyu of Korea in his next bout on Sunday.
Also tomorrow, 18-year-old promising talent Shiva Thapa will kick off his campaign with a relatively easy opener against Afghan Mohammad Khaiber Nooristani after getting a first-round bye.
Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Paramjeet Samota has got a first-round bye and will take the ring against Soumar Ghossoun of Syria in the semifinal on April 11.