India suffered a major upset at the World Boxing Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan on Saturday as Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh (75 kg) lost his opening round bout to Cuba's Emilio Correa.
Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Jai Bhagwan (60kg) advanced to the second round of the the mega event. Eight Indian boxers have now crossed the first hurdle at the championships.
Vijender, the World No.8 and seeded seventh at the championship, was up against a tough opponent in Olympic silver-medallist Correa.
The Cuban had a psychological advantage going into the match as he had defeated Vijender in the semi-finals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Correa started strongly here as well, taking a three-point lead in the very first round (1:4). Vijender rallied strongly in the second but Correa was unrelenting, coming from a deficit to win it (9:5). In the end, Vijender lost 9:16 on points.
In the light weight category, Jai Bhagwan was up against Youth Olympics gold-medallist Evaldas Petrauskas of Lithuania. The 26-year-old started slow in the first round adopting a defensive approach. The scores were knotted at 2-all after the opening three minutes of play.
In the second, he changed his strategy taking the attack to his opponent and scoring seven points as compared to Petrauskas's three. Jai Bhagwan further increased the margin in the final round, winning the bout 15:8.
The Indian now takes on Czech Republic's Miroslav Serban who defeated Nuwan Thennakoon of Sri Lanka 16-10 in his opening round.
Round two of the championship will begin on Sunday when four Indian boxers - Suranjoy Singh, Dinesh Kumar, Manoj Kumar and Vikas Krishnan - will stake a claim to make it to the round of 16.