Nishant in last-16 after dominant win

Tashkent, May 3

Young Indian boxer Nishant Dev produced a power-packed performance in his scintillating 5-0 victory over 2021 World Championships bronze medallist Sarkhan Aliyev of Azerbaijan in the 71kg category to advance to the pre-quarterfinals of the World Boxing Championships here today.

The 22-year-old boxer from Karnal put up a world class display of strength and supreme technique, utilising his strategy of attacking from distance and landing a swift combination of punches to start the bout on the front foot.

By judging his opponent’s attacks well and defending sternly, Nishant gave the Azerbaijani no chance to execute his attacks. The southpaw, who hardly put a foot wrong, proved too quick for Aliyev.

Nishant, who had reached the quarterfinals in the last edition as well, will now face Lee Sangmin of South Korea in the next round.

Four Indian pugilists will take the ring for their respective tournament openers tomorrow. The 2022 Thailand Open champion Govind Sahani (48kg) will square off against Mehron Shafiev of Tajikistan, while the 2019 Asian silver medallist Deepak Kumar (51kg) will face Luis Delgado of Ecuador.

Record six-time Asian Championships medallist Shiva Thapa (63.5kg), who received a bye in the first round, will begin his campaign from the Round-of-16 stage as he aims to add another Worlds medal to his kitty after bronze in the 2015 edition in Doha.

The bronze medallists of the 2022 Asian Championships, Narender Berwal (+92kg) and Muhammad Abroridinov of Tajikistan, who also got byes in the first round, will go head-to-head against each other.

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