Indian pugilists continued their good run at the 21st President’s Cup International Boxing Tournament being held in Jakarta, Indonesia. While 18-year-old Gaurav Bidhuri (49kg) made a place in the semi-finals after beating his Malaysian opponent in an enthralling contest, the evening session of play on Monday saw Asian Games silver medallist V Santosh Kumar (64kg) and Lakhbir Singh (69kg) secure a quarter-final berth.
Playing in the light fly weight category, Bidhuri who claimed a bronze medal at the National Games earlier this year, advanced to the quarterfinals after beating Bogi Andriano of Indonesia 14-8. The last eight of the tournament saw him lock horns with Muhamed Fuad of Malaysia. Both the boxers started well in the first round with the score knotted at 2 all. In the second Bidhuri took a crucial one point lead, but the Malaysian boxer was close on heels and did not offer him any big scoring opportunities. In the end though Bidhuri did well to hold on to his lead and won 9:8 on points. This victory assures him of at least a bronze medal finish in the tournament. He will now take on Ian Clark Bautista of Philippines in the semi-finals.
In his first international competition since the silver medal winning performance at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, V Santosh Kumar was up against Lee Yong Hee of Korea in the round of 16 of the light welter weight division. The opening round saw the 19 year old quickly amass a five point lead thanks to some aggressive combinations. The Korean tried to muster a comeback in the second and the third, but Kumar was not to be denied. The reigning national champion went on to secure his place in the last eight by virtue of a 13:11 victory on points.
In the welter weight category, Lakhbir Singh delivered a knock out performance to cement his place in the quarterfinals. Up against Truong Dinh Hong of Vietnam, the 23 year old was leading 11:5 after the second round. In the final round of play, Lakhbir launched an all-out offensive, to which his opponent had no answer. A hardy upper cut provided the final blow, handing the win to Lakhbir and with it a place in the last eight.
Earlier in the tournament Santhosh Harijan (52kg), Chhote Lal Yadav (56kg) and Jasveer Singh (81kg) also made a place in the quarter-finals of the tournament.