New Delhi: Four Indian pugilists had to be contended with bronze medals after suffering defeats in the penultimate round of the ASBC Asian Confederation Youth Boxing Championship in Subic Bay, Philippines.
Narender Berwal (+91kg), Lalitha Prasad (49kg), Abhishek Beniwal (81kg) and Amritpreet Singh (91kg) ended their campaign at the semi-final stage after losing out to their respective opponents.
The Indian pugilists did well to qualify for the round of four, and in the semi-finals as well they put up a stunning challenge making things difficult for their opponents.
2012 Youth World Championships silver medallist, Berwal defeated Kazak boxer Dastan Kurmanbetov in an exciting comeback to make his place in the penultimate round.
Up against Ulugbek Mubinov -- the national title holder from Uzbekistan Elite Men's Boxing Championships, the 18-year-old Berwal from Haryana did well and kept close on heels of the Uzbek boxer.
He used his height to good advantage and kept scoring on counters. But Mubinov, with his superior in-fighting maintained the lead and did not let Narender settle down; the Indian lost on points 8-11.
Aglorav Cup bronze medallist, Abhishek and heavy weight boxer Amritpreet too displayed great skills and came agonisingly close to making a bid for the gold medal in their respective weight division. But the two 18-year-old boxers ended up on the losing side in the end.
Beniwal was engaged in a slug fest with Kazakhstan's Adiet Orynbassarov. Both the boxers threw a flurry of punches and maintained the offensive tempo. Beniwal had a two point lead after the opening round of play (10-8) , but some precise blows from Orynbassarov seemed to put him on the back foot. He lost the advantage and ultimately the bout 21-26 on points.
Up against Kazakhstan's Youth National Champion Aibek Ermetov, Amritpreet too opened strongly with his hard hitting combinations. The Indian had a two point lead after the first round (5-2).
Going into the last round, Singh still had the advantage, but Ermetov came back strongly in the final few minutes to take the game away from Singh. He lost on points 14-15.
In the light fly weight division, 17-year-old Prasad, who bagged the light fly weight title at the 2012 Tammer International tournament in Finland, seemed off colour against Kosei Tanaka of Japan. The feisty Japanese boxer proved too strong for the Indian, who is also the bronze medallist at the Youth World Championships. He lost 10-17.
Story first published on: Saturday, 16 March 2013 23:14 IST