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Rediff.com  » Sports » Devendro, Manoj lose in World Championships quarters

Devendro, Manoj lose in World Championships quarters

October 05, 2011 18:05 IST

Indian boxers L Devendro Singh (49kg) and Manoj Kumar (64kg) fought gamely, but eventually ran out of steam against fancied opponents and bowed out in the quarter-finals, at the World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, on Wednesday.

Having secured Olympic berths after reaching the quarter-finals, the Indians were aiming for medals at the mega event.

Devendro lost to Asian champion and second seed Shin Jong Hoon 16-28, while Manoj went down to fifth seed Thomas Stalker of England 18-24.

The 19-year-old Devendro, who proved to be a pint-sized dynamo in his maiden senior international tournament, finally met his match in Hoon after an impressive giant-killing spree.

The Manipuri was his usual spunky and energetic self as he opened the day for India, but Hoon got a measure of his game quite early on in the bout.

The 23-year-old Korean, a bronze-medallist at the previous World Championships, withstood the initial onslaught from his eager opponent before launching his attack.

Taller and more experienced, Hoon kept a shell guard and invited Devendro before attacking him with some telling jabs. He ducked craftily and took advantage of his better reach to catch the Indian off guard on several occasions before forging ahead 11-9 at the end of the opening round.

The second round followed a similar script, as Devendro managed just five points against nine, and was 14-20 overall.

The frustration showed when the Indian hit his opponent thrice after the bell had gone in the second round.

The third round was an all-out slug fest with Hoon connecting more often to wrap a rather comfortable victory.

Next in the ring was Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj. The 25-year-old was up against another Commonwealth Games gold medallist (in the lightweight 60kg division), who went on to clinch a silver at this year's European Championships.

Both the boxers treaded cautiously initially and it was Stalker who opened up first by lowering his guard.

With a left hook that fetched him points whenever he wanted, Stalker seemed in control from the start, even though the opening round scoreline had the Indian trailing by just a point, 4-5.

Manoj tried hard to break his opponent's rock-solid defence with uppercuts, but Stalker, at an imposing 5'10, was unmoved. Using left hooks and jabs, he built on his lead to extend his lead to 16-11 after the second round.

Manoj fought hard in the final round but the effort could not wipe off the lead he had conceded against the 27-year-old Englishman.