Rookie Devendro gives India winning start in World C`ships

New Delhi: Rookie teen L Devendro Singh gave a perfect start to India`s campaign at the World Boxing Championships, sailing into the second round of the light flyweight 49kg division with a thumping win in his opening bout in Baku, Azerbaijan on Monday.

Devendro beat Nazarliev Asylbek of Kyrgyzstan 14-8 and will now take on Mexico`s Joselit Velazquez in the second round.

The 19-year-old Manipuri, who beat Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Amandeep Singh and former youth world champion Thokchom Nanao Singh in the selection trials, was locked 4-4 with his rival in the opening round before inching ahead to 6-2 in the next three minutes.

The Indian maintained the lead in the final round and closed the issue 14-8 to give India a good start in the first Olympic qualifying event. Top 10 boxers, from light flyweight to light heavyweight division, will qualify for the London Olympics from here.

In the heavyweight and super heavyweight division, the top six will make the cut for London.

Tuesday, India will have two boxers in action at the event. Commonwealth Games gold-medallist and Asian Games bronze-medallist Suranjoy Singh (52kg) will open his campaign against Hungary`s Zsolt Dobradi.

Former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Akhil Kumar (56kg) will be up against Slovakia`s Filip Barak in his opening bout.

In the 60kg division, Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Jai Bhagwan will start against Lithuania`s Evaldas Petrauskas on October 1.

Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar will be up against Bahamas` Valentino Knowles, who was the 60kg gold-medallist at the Commonwealth Games.

Asian Games gold-medallist in the 60kg division, Vikas Krishan, will make his welterweight debut by taking on Kyrgyzstan`s Asadullo Boimurodov.

Olympic hero Vijender Singh, who is the only Indian to be seeded at the event -- seventh, has a tough opener as he faces Cuba`s Olympic silver-medallist Emilio Correa on October 1.

Vijender has in fact lost to Correa in the Olympic semifinals.

On Wednesday, Asian Games silver-medallist Dinesh Kumar has an easy opening round bout against Nepal`s Deepak Maharjn in the light heavy weight (81kg) category.

In heavyweight 91kg division, Asian Games silver-medallist Manpreet Singh has got a bye in the first round and his opening bout will be against Tajikistan`s Dzahakon Qurbanov on October 3.

In the super heavyweight (+91kg) category, Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Paramjeet Samota will take on Vitalijus Subacius of Lithuania.


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