Almaty: India created history at the AIBA World Boxing Championships here Tuesday when five of its boxers reaching the quarterfinals of their respective weight categories.
It is the first time that five Indians have reached the last eight of the competition. Four from India made the quarters in the last edition.
Sumit Sangwan (81kg) with reigning National Champions Vikash Malik (60kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) joined compatriots Manoj Kumar (64kg) and Shiva Thapa (56kg) in the quarterfinals. All five are now just a win away from a bronze medal.
Vikash was the first Indian to take to the ring Tuesday. Up against the fifth seed and 2008 European Championships silver-medallist Miklos Varga from Hungary, the 26 year old made a solid start to take the early advantage.
Following his aggressive style, Vikash maintained the momentum throughout the nine minutes of play and went on to claim his place in the last eight of the light weight category with a unanimous decision. The stout railways boxer will have to bank on his aggressive intent to advance, as he takes on 2011 Pan-American Games silver-medallist Robson Conceicao of Brazil, who is seeded fourth in the competition.
Sangwan was the second to follow as he pulverised eighth Seed Siarhei Novikau of Belarus in one-sided contest. His clear cut jabs and sharp counters were the big difference and helped him win by a unanimous decision. The 20-year-old will have an uphill task as he looks to upset London Olympics silver-medallist and top seed Adilbek Niyazymbetov of Kazakhstan.
Heavy weight boxer Kumar also joined the party as he beat Yan Sudzilouski of Belarus in a well played bout. The burley 24-year-old stuck to his guns and did well to stay ahead throughout the entire duration; he won by a unanimous decision as well. He will lock horns with local lad and London Olympics bronze-medallist Ivan Dychko.
Monday, two-times Asian Championship bronze medallist Manoj Kumar (64kg) defeated Yves Ulysse of Canada to book his quarter-final spot. He is slated to box Yasnier Lopez of Cuba next. Asian Champion Shiva Thapa (56kg), who was the first to advance into the quarters, will look to overhaul Javid Chalabiyev of Azerbaijan.
The only Indian medal winners in the tournament are Beijing Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh (2009) and Vikas Krishan (2011). Both won a bronze.