Akhil, Jitender record facile wins on their way to second round

Beijing, Aug 12 (UNI) Haryana boxers Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar dominated the ring, thrashing their rivals to move into the second round of their respective categories in the Olympic Boxing competition here today.

In the 54 kg (Bantamweight), 27-year-old Akhil outpointed France's Ali Hallab 12-5 while in the morning Jitender Kumar boxed out his Turkish rival Furkan Ulas Memis in the 51 kg (Flyweight) category.

With this, all the three Boxers from Haryana, including Vijender Kumar have made it to the next round .

Akhil Kumar, rated as the 'best boxer' at the Asian Olympic qualifying tournament in Bangkok this February where he had beaten Athens Olympics silver medallist, Worapoj Petchkoom of Thailand, in the third round, was in superb form today.

He did not allow his French rival any quarter as he took a 4-2 lead in the first round. In the second, he just punished Ali with some stunning and unsettling punches to take his score to 8-3.

Having virtually put himself in an unbeatable position, Akhil slowed down the pace of the contest. He was content on making his rival run around the ring and landed punches whenever he got a chance.

He conserved his energy, a hall mark of a good boxer, as he knew that he was going to win the bout.

In the third and fourth round, he collected two points each while conceding one each to merge winer.

After the bout, Akhil said he was happy at the improvement in the frequency of punches and the increased range of his right hand.

''I Controlled the fight through out, I did not open up much in the third and fourth rounds because I had established a good lead.

There was no use wasting energy,'' the puglist said after the fight.

Earlier in the 51 kg, fighting to a plan, 20-year-old Jitender Kumar dominated the ring and forced his rival to retire after the third round when the score read 12-3 in favoure of the Indian.

Jitender played close and long range and did not allow his rival any quarter. The Turk could not sort out the Indian's tactic and he tried to engage Jitender in a medium range confrontation which the latter avoided successfully.

The 17-year-old southpaw Turk tried to guard himself in the first round but the boxer from Bhiwani rattled Memis with straight right hits and left hooks.

Jitender used his footwork superbly as he moved very fast and landed his punches accurately to garner points and was up 5-0 at the end of the first round.

There was no let up in Jitender's fury but Memis managed to counter in the second round. The Indian boxed tactically and did not slug much with his rival. He added four more points to his kitty with some clever hooks and powerful punches but because he opened up in this round he also conceded two points when Memis hit him right on the spot with left hooks.

After the second round, the Indian led 9-2 and in the third, Jitender went all out on the offensive and Memis found it hard to ward off the punches and ran all over to escape punishment.

With the score reading 12-3, the Turkish coach decided that it was better to ask his boxer to retire than see him getting bettered.

''Jitender sorted out his rival early,'' said coach GS Sandhu after the bout.

Talking to UNI Sandhu said,''The Turk, who is a good boxer, was however totally out of place against Jitender. Actually the rivals could not comprehend our strategy. They are still under the impression that Indians fight while standing and not moving their feet.'' ''I think he (Memis) was surprised seeing an agile and fast Indian boxer who was using his footwork effectively. He was given a wrong impression that he could use his left hooks on a standing and static rival and that proved to be his undoing,'' Sandhu added.


Story first published: Tuesday, August 12, 2008, 21:04 [IST]
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