Bangkok: Former Asian Games silver-medallist Manpreet Singh (91kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) sailed into the quarterfinals with comprehensive wins as India rounded off a reasonably good day at the Asian Boxing Championships here on Saturday.
Manpreet, a silver-winner from the 2010 Asian Games, defeated Nuvan Sugeewa Sampath of Sri Lanka 3-0 and the margin remained the same when Satish clinched the issue against North Korean Jin Hyok. But Manish Kaushik (60kg) bowed out after losing in the pre-quarterfinals.
As expected, Manpreet (91kg) dominated his bout from the first bell against Sampath. In a grossly lop-sided contest, Manpreet quite literally toyed with his rival, who was slow on the feet and was unnerved after a couple of powerful left hooks in the first round itself.
Manpreet targetted his rival's torso with lethal precision, leaving the Sri Lankan scurrying for cover from a relentless assault.
After trying to step up to Manpreet in the first two rounds, Sampath all but gave up in the third round and merely went through the motions, giving the Indian an easy 3-0 triumph.
Manpreet, however, faces a much tougher test in the quarterfinals as he will be up against second seed Rustam Tulaganov of Uzbekistan, who got a bye in the opening round.
Later Satish Kumar (+91kg) also advanced after beating North Korean Jin Hyok in a rather sluggish bout in which the the Indian relied on a few well-connected power blows to edge past his much taller and far-reaching opponent.
In the next round, Satish will square off against Tajikistan's Siyovush Zukhurov, who went ahead courtesy a first-round bye.
However, there was disappointment as well when Manish Kumar (60kg) opened the proceedings for India against local favourite Pachanya Longchin and the Indian went down 2-1 despite putting up a valiant fight.
Although outwitted in the opening round, Manish came back strongly against his fast-moving and adventurous rival to clinch the second but ran out of steam in the decider.
Longchin displayed fine tactical acumen and unnerved Manish, who, to his credit, did try to gather himself in the second round and counter-attacked with flare to match his rival.
However, in a closely-contested third round, Longchin had the last laugh by thwarting Manish with some calculated blows which stood out for their sheer power.
Tomorrow, defending champion Shiva Thapa (56kg), Asian Games bronze-medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg), and previous edition's silver-medallist L Devendro Singh (49kg) will be starting their campaign after getting first-round byes.
Commonwealth Games silver winner Mandeep Jangra (69kg) will also be seen in action, up against Japan's Ysauhiro Suzuki in his pre-quarters.
The event is a qualifier for the October World Championships in Doha -- the first qualifying event for next year's Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The Asian continent has got 66 quota places to the Doha event which is the second highest after the European continent.
From 49kg up to the 81kg categories, Asia has got seven quotas including the host nation, Qatar, of the AIBA World Championships. Five boxers will be getting the quotas in the 91 kg and +91 kg here.
A total of 188 boxers from 28 nations are in the tournament, which is the biggest ever in terms of participation.