National champion Duryodhan Singh Negi (69kg) made a winning debut to advance to the second round of the AIBA (The International Boxing Association) Men’s World Championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia on September 14.
Negi had to work hard to achieve a 4-1 victory over Armenia’s Koryun Astoyan and set up a second-round showdown with Jordan’s sixth seed Zeyad Eashash, who had got a first-round bye.
Negi started slow and became more aggressive towards the end of the first round. The Indian boxer then resorted to the tactic of staying low against his tall and muscular opponent to deliver his combination blows. Even though he retreated into a defensive mode in the third round and put up his guard against the Armenian pugilist, he managed to successfully land a flurry of punches at the very end to secure the win.
On asking about his opponent, Negi said, "He was intelligent and unpredictable at the beginning which caused a little difficulty reading him. Hence I started defensive, I was blocking more and used my punches when necessary, that's how I got through the first round. Then the Coach told me to start with the opponent's body as he was missing his punches above.
This was a good bout but I will try to be more prepared for the next time. I will watch my opponent's earlier bouts and make a strategy for the next game on Monday which is against Zeyad Eashash of Jordan."
The 33-year-old Makran Cup silver medallist becomes the third Indian to win his first-round bout at this prestigious tournament, joining Manish Kaushik (63kg) and Brijesh Yadav (81kg).
Asian Games Champion Amit Panghal (52kg) and Asian Championships Silver medallist Ashish Kumar (75kg), will begin their medal quests tomorrow against Taipei’s Tu Po-Wei and China’s Tanglatihan Tuohetaerbieke respectively after receiving byes in the opening round.
Panghal, Kumar and Kavinder Singh Bisht (57kg) have been seeded this time as a total of four Indian boxers got first-round byes at this elite championship where 488 athletes from 89 countries will be vying for medals.