Subic Bay, Philippines: Silver medalist at the 2012 Youth World Championships, Narender Berwal (+91kg), and bronze medal winner at the same event, Lalitha Prasad (49kg), continued their winning streak at the ASBC Asian Confederation Youth Boxing Championship as they marched into the semi-finals of the event here on Thursday.
The Indian youth boxers comprehensively beat their opponents to cement a place in the last four of their respective weight division. With Berwal and Prasad advancing to the medal rounds, India has now four boxers in the penultimate round of the championship. Earlier in the tournament, heavyweight boxer Amritpreet Singh (91kg) beat Yousef Al-nubani of Jordan in an exciting encounter to make his place in the semi-finals. Abhishek Beniwal (81kg), the 2012 Aglorav Cup bronze medal winner, also made a place in the final four of the light heavyweight category by virtue of a bye.
Berwal up against Kazak boxer Dastan Kurmanbetov, made a stunning recovery after being down 1-4 in the opening round to emerge victorious in the end. The reigning youth national champion displayed exceptional class as he came down heavily on his opponent with some hard hitting punches in the second frame, which forced the referee stopped the contest despite the fact of Kurmanbekov still having the advantage. In the semi-finals on Friday he takes on Uzbekistan's Ulugbek Mubinov who won the Uzbekistan Men's Elite Boxing Championships in December last year.
Seventeen-year-old Prasad, who bagged the light fly weight title at the 2012 Tammer International tournament in Finland, gave a splendid account of his boxing skills against Jun Engkang of Indonesia. After a cautious opening three minutes of play (2-2), he made a strong charge in the second round with his effective counter punches. He scored 5 points as opposed to the Indonesian boxers' 2 points. Prasad finally outpointed Engkang 11-7 to advance into the semis. His now rivals Japan's light flyweight boxer AIBA Youth World Championships quarter-finalist Kosei Tanaka for a place in finals on Friday.
But there was disappointment for India in the other weight divisions. AIBA Youth World Championships bronze medalist Sandeep Sharma (75kg) put up a stunning fight against Uzbekistan's defending AIBA Youth World Champion Akmalbek Kosimov but in the lost on points 8-13. Newcomer in the national squad Dinesh (64kg) also went down to Mongolia's, Junior World Championships quarter-finalist, Batzorig Otgonjargal with an identical score. Reigning junior national champion Nagesh Kharare (60kg) exhibited solid defence against James Palicte of the Philippines but in the lacked the fire power in his offence; he lost on points 7-10. Mangeet Panghal (69kg) too displayed great skill but in the end could not keep up with Davaanvan Davaasuren from Mongolia and lost 13-18.