After a scintillating start at the Giraldo Córdova Cardin” Memorial Boxing Tournament in Havana, Cuba day two of the event was a bit of a dampener for India. Both the boxers in action on the second day, Dinesh Kumar (81kg) and Balwinder Beniwal (69kg) lost their opening round bouts to their respective opponents.
Balwinder playing in the welter weight category was the first to take to the ring. He was up against, none other that Roniel Iglesias of the Cuba main team. Roniel a bronze medallist at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and gold medallist (64 kg) at the Milan World Championship made things difficult for the 20 year old. Balwinder, a silver medalist at the same event last year, put in his best against the former world champion, but the Cuban had an answer for everything. In the end, the technique and experience of the Cuban fighter turned out to be superior to Balwinder’s, who lost on points 12:26.
The second boxer in the fray, Olympian and Asian games silver medalist Dinesh Kumar also came up short against the Yamaguchi Florentino of Brazil; 14:24 on points. The final score does not do justice to the way the 20 year old played. Dinesh fought valiantly; unfortunately he could not translate all his punches into points. Florentino, a prized WSB fighter was throwing more punches at close range which worked in the Brazilians favour.
But there is a lot more for Indian fan to cheer as day three of the tournament will witness five Indian boxers take to the ring at the Ramon Fonst multi-sports hall. Commonwealth Games gold medallist Suranjoy Singh, CWG Bronze medallist Amandeep Singh, Asian silver medallist Nanao Singh, and wunderkind Shiva Thappa will all be making their first appearance of the tournament. Santosh Harijan who stunned the officials and spectators with his superb performance in the first round will fight Mozambican Cramido in the second round.