Hangzhou, Sept 27 (PTI) Seasoned Indian boxer Shiva Thapa (63.5kg) crashed out of the Asian Games, beaten comprehensively by Kyrgyzstan Askat Kultaev while Sanjeet (92kg) also suffered a first round exit.
A record six-time Asian Championship medallist, Shiva, who received a first round bye, was beaten by Kultaev’s relentless attacks and pace in a draining pre-quarterfinal bout.
It is a shocking loss as Shiva was a strong medal contender. He was even handed a favourable draw.
Kultaev started off aggressively, his onslaught catching Shiva off guard. The Indian took a few seconds to regroup and connect his powerful hooks.
But at a slight height disadvantage, Shiva was forced to fight from a distance with the judges ruling the first round 4-1 in favour of Aksat.
The 21-year-old from Kyrgyzstan continued his attacks in the second round. He kept throwing punches which didn’t necessarily connect but it forced Shiva to defend.
Shiva was more patient with his punches, which cost the Assam boxer the second round.
Trailing, Shiva tried his best to land a flurry of punches in the final three minutes but his younger opponent stepped back and defended easily.
In the second Indian bout of the day, Sanjeet was completely out-punched 5-0 by world championship bronze medallist Lazizbek Mullojonov.
Sanjeet found it tough to respond to the 2022 super heavyweight Asian Champions’ punches and was forced to go into a defensive mode.
Trailing 0-5, Sanjeet lost his balance after being struck by Mullojonov’s punch, which got him an eight count. The gulf between the two boxers was so much that two out of the five judges gave the Indian 8 points.