Incheon : 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 today.
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. Akhil has earned a round of 16 meeting with Filipino Charly Suarez on Friday. Suarez outpointed Uzbekistan’s Eimur Abduraimov 2-1 (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
The 20-year-old Thapa, world no. 3 and last year’s gold medallist in the Asian Championship, has drawn Pakistan’s Nadir as his round of 16 opponent. Nadir defeated Bhutan’s Phub Sigyel 2-1. —PTI