Beijing Olympic quarter-finalist Akhil Kumar made a perfect start to his professional career with a technical knockout of Australia's Ty Gilchrist in the junior welterweight category at the 'Battleground Asia' in Mumbai on Saturday. It was a night to remember for the 'Class of 2008' as another Beijing quarter-finalist Jitender Kumar also marked his debut with a technical knockout win against Thanet Likhitkamporn in the lightweight category.
Akhil, the 2006 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, endured a nasty cut just below his left eye in the early seconds because of his famous 'guard down' stance, but his entire range of hooks and upper cuts along with the customary swagger was enough to pummel Gilchrist into submission.
The third round never started as the Australian threw in the towel.
Among the undercards in the fray, Akhil easily received the loudest cheers as he entered the arena.
It wasn't the greatest of starts as Gilchrist took the first chance to land a straighter one as blood started oozing out.
An undeterred Akhil, however, got back as he successfully used the upper cut to break open Gilchrist's defence before landing a combination of left and right hooks.
Gilchrist tried the defensive tactic of trying to hold onto Akhil and in the process inflict more damage on the already formed deep gash beneath his eye.
It was Jitender who was seen helping Akhil in his corner.
The second round saw Akhil straightaway get into the attack mode with a flurry of left-right combinations.
One such combination hit Gilchrist bang on his midriff and another one on his wrist as the Indian enjoyed an upper hand.
Before the start of the third round, Gilchrist conceded the bout as he was not in a position to continue.
Earlier, in the opening bout of the evening, India's Asad Asif made a winning start as he overcame Larry Abama of Philippines 40-39-39 in the Super Bantam Weight category (55.3 kg).
In the second bout of the day, in the lightweight (61.2 kg) category, India's Kuldeep Dhanda defeated his compatriot Sachin Bhot 40-39-39.
Dharmendra Grewal then kept the Indian flag flying high as he thrashed Australian Issac Slade in the cruiserweight (90.7 kg) 59-60-59 and the bout was of six rounds in the third bout.
In the welterweight (66.7 kg) category, India's Pardeep Kharera brushed aside Thailand's Wanphichit Sirphana and was declared winner on a technical knockout after two rounds as the latter was deemed unfit to play in the third round.