Comeback-man Akhil Kumar (60kg) pummelled his Nepalese rival Purna Bahadur Lama before notching up a Technical Knockout triumph while Shiva Thapa (56kg) merely had to show up to enter the second round as Indian boxers began their Asian Games campaign on a winning note here on Wednesday. (Medal Tally)
Shiva was the first to step into the ring this afternoon and he did not have to do anything more as his opponent, Leonel Helo Prada of Timor Leste, gave him a walkover.
Akhil, a former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, was the next man in for India in the second half of the day and the 33-year-old showed no signs of rustiness while getting past Lama.
The Haryana-lad, who was returning to international competition after three years of injury-forced hibernation, was dominant from the word go. With his trademark open guard, the Indian went after his overtly cautious rival, who looked hesitant in attack and equally unsure in defence.
The opening round ended with Akhil leading Lama 30-24 after shaking him up with a flurry of uppercuts, targetting the Nepalese's torso. Lama faced the standing eight count twice during the opening three minutes itself.
The second round followed a similar script with Lama looking even more intimidated by his experienced rival. The Nepalese boxer faced one more standing eight count before Akhil sealed it 30-25.
It was halfway into the final three minutes when the referee decided that Lama had taken enough of a pounding and stopped the contest declaring Akhil the winner in a Technical Knockout.