Commonwealth Games gold medallist Mohammad Ali Qamar kept Indian hopes alive by progressing to the semi-finals with a slender one point win over Bilali Suleiman Wanjau of Kenya in the light-fly quarter-finals of the Afro-Asian Games boxing tournament on Saturday night.
Another Indian to bring cheer to the country was Ramanand, who emerged a runaway winner in the light-weight quarter-final.
Ramanad crushed Bongani Mahlangu of South Africa 26-8.
Qamar, who survived a solid onslaught from the hard-hitting Wanjau, a quarter-finalist in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, prevailed 14-13 in the end.
In the semi-finals, Qamar will meet Endelkachew Kebede of Ethiopia, who received a bye to the last four stage, while Ramanad clashes with Bak Jong-Su of Korea, an Asian Games gold medallist.
The Korean advanced without much sweat as Ethiopian Esayas Getaneh retired in the first round.
The Kolkata-based Qamar could not get into his rhythm in the first round and the Kenyan was quick with his mixture of both left and right punches.
However, Qamar was at his best in defending and at the fag end of the first round, effected a cut on the Kenyan's left cheek.
Midway into the second round, Qamar started his charge and earned points. The Indian moved swiftly and used his left hand more often. He maintained a slight edge in the third round too and once came up with a superb right jab to the face of Wanjau. Qamar looked tired in the fourth round but still defended well.
In another light-fly bout, Harry S Tanamor of The Philippines, a bronze medallist in the World Cup and silver medal winner in the Asian Games, won a one-sided fight against Joseph Hilongwa Jermia of Namibia 21-10.
Following are the other quarter-final results:
Light-fly: Serik Sikymbayev (Kaz) bt Jolly Kalongole (Uga) 23-18.
Light-weight: Dilshod Mahmudov (Uzb) bt Ahmed Sadiq (Ngr) 6-2.
Middle-weight: Nabil Kassel (Algeria) bt Yerbol Dutbayev (Kaz) 27-11; Utkirbek Hayarov (UZB) bt Daniel Nyambwena Shisia (Ken) 18-10.