New Delhi: Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar continued his fine form to enter the quarterfinals along with two others as Indian boxers rounded off an all-win day at the Asian Championships in Amman, Jordan.
The light welterweight (64kg) boxer was joined by Mandeep Jangra (69kg) and Sukhdeep Singh (75kg) in the last-eight stage. Manoj, playing his second bout in a bid for the continental crown, hardly broke a sweat against Sri Lankan opponent Mohamed Dilshan.
Manoj was his usual aggressive self right from the word go with his penetrating jabs catching Dilshan off guard on many occasions. He was clearly the superior boxer and made it easy for the judges to declare him winner by a unanimous decision. The 26-year-old will next take on Armi Khir of Malaysia in the quarters.
In the welterweight division, recently-crowned Limassol Boxing Cup Champion Mandeep was brimming with confidence as he took on Lebanese boxer Antar Khodor. Mandeep, who lost in the quarterfinal of the previous edition of the tournament in 2011, looked keen on making amends to his record.
The 20-year-old was precise in his attacks to dominate the proceedings and maintained a steady lead throughout the three rounds. In the end he won on a unanimous decision. He now has the task of overcoming Nodirbek Kosimov of Uzbekistan in what is expected to be a hard challenge for the Indian. Debutant Sukhdeep also gave a good account of himself as he overhauled South Korean boxer Kim Dachwan in a one-sided contest displaying immense technical soundness. He now faces 2010 World Combat Games bronze-medallist, Jafoyev Navruz of Tajikistan tomorrow.