Chennai: Asian Championship silver medallist Nanao Singh punched his way into the quarterfinals with a hard-fought victory over Amandeep Singh of Railways in the Senior men`s National boxing championship.
The 2008 Youth Commonwealth Champion Nanao triumphed over his more experienced colleague and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Amandeep with a score of 15-13.
It was the most anticipated bout of the day - A clash of the titans in the fly weight division at the Alagappa University in the Chettinad town of Karaikkudi.
Both the pugilists, part of the national camp for the London Olympics at NIS Patiala knew each other`s game very well and did not immediately reveal their strategy against the other.
Amandeep taking advantage of his height and reach got the better of Nanao in the first round 3-2. But Nanao, who had defeated Amandeep at the National Games, came around in the second round playing a close game and got inside the defence of the Railways boxer to level the score before taking the lead 7-6.
The final three minutes of play and it was all aggression from both the boxers. In the end, Nanao prevailed over Amandeep to book a quarterfinal clash against local challenger P Raghvan.
"I had defeated Amandeep at the National Games earlier in the year and therefore had a psychological advantage over him. My strategy was to negate the height advantage by playing a close game, it worked to great effect. I am happy with my performance and hope to carry on the form," said an elated Nanao after the bout.
In the same weight category, upcoming Haryana boxer Devender continued his purple patch as he devoured Salman Anwar Shaikh of Maharashtra. The 19-year-old used his aggressive play to excellent effect and beat Salman 21-11.
It has been a very tough decision for me to make which is why I have given it so much thought since the World Cup.