Olympian Diwakar Prasad and Commonwealth champion Amandeep Singh assured themselves of a medal with contrasting triumphs even as a couple of upsets highlighted the quarterfinals of the 57th Senior Men's National Boxing Championships in New Delhi.
Diwakar (60kg), competing for the Railways Sports Promotion Board, put on another clinical performance to beat Jammu Kashmir's Deepak.
The referee had to stop the contest midway through the third round when one of Diwakar's several counter-attacks left Deepak with a cut above his left eye.
Diwakar, with his sharp reflexes and rhythmic foot movement, seemed a class above Deepak, who struggled to engage his more experienced rival.
Diwakar will now face reigning youth world champion Vikas Krishan, who easily defeated Uttarakhand's Amit Kumar 5-0.
In contrast, Amandeep, another Railways' boxer, was given a rather tough fight by Asian Youth silver medallist Devendro Singh in the light fly weight quarter-finals.
The 18-year-old Manipuri kept it 0-0 in the first round with his tight defence but as the bout progressed, Devendro lost the tempo.
Devendro's punches lacked the power that was needed to convince the judges to award points and the more experienced and stronger Amandeep was quick to capitalise.
But Devendro's valiant fight earned him a warm embrace from his opponent and a pat on the back from Railways' coach Jaidev Bisht.
Meanwhile, South Asian Games gold medallist Chhote Lal Yadav, from the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB), was his usual dominant self as he out-punched Punjab's Kulwinder Singh 6-0 in the bantam weight 56kg quarter-finals.
Yadav is not just the defending champion in this division, he was also the Best Boxer of the previous Nationals in Hyderabad.
The 26-year-old will now take on Torak Kharappan after the Meghalaya boxer out-classed Assam's Guna Gourav in his quarter-final bout.
Elsewhere, in what can be considered an upset, little-known Sanjay Singh (RSPB) stunned former cadet world champion Balbir, competing as an Indian Boxing Federation entry, 7-1 in the fly weight division.
The 20-year-old Sanjay, a two-time gold medallist at the junior nationals, assured himself of his maiden senior Nationals medal with the win against his temperamental rival, who had sprung a major surprise on Tuesday by beating Asian champion Suranjoy Singh.
Another former world cadet champion Vipin Kumar, competing for Uttar Pradesh, defeated SSCB's Sanjay Kolte 3-2 in the second surprise result.
Kolte is the more experienced of the two and has been an international medallist in the past.
Former Commonwealth champion Sunil Kumar (Haryana) advanced to the medal round with a 7-3 win over Maharashtra's Salman in the fly weight category.
Former Asian bronze medallist Manoj Kumar (RSPB) pulled off a hard-fought 5-2 triumph over Punjab's Lakhbir Singh in the light welter weight division to enter the semis.
Eight-time champion Dilbag Singh (RSPB) remained on course for a record ninth gold with an 8-0 triumph over Punjab's Jagwinder in the welter weight quarters.
In another welter weight quarter-final, former Commonwealth bronze medallist Dilbagh Singh (Delhi) also entered the semis with a narrow 1-0 win over Himachal Pradesh's Geetanand.