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Prasad wins, Akhil loses

August 18, 2004 00:09 IST

India had mixed fortunes in the roped square at the Athens Games on Tuesday as Akhil Kumar went down to former world champion and Sydney Games bronze medallist Jerome Thomas of France on points in the first round of the flyweight category and Diwarkar Prasad beat Morocco's Hamid Ait Bighrade in the 54 kg bantamweight round of 32.

Kumar fought bravely but dropped his guard often to allow his more fancied rival to score points at will and lost 16-37.

He tried to use the upper cut too often against the Frenchman, who rarely let his guard drop, and failed to score points.

The Indian trailed 3-6 after the first round and the deficit increased to 7-17 in the second. He was down by 16 points at the end of the third round.

Despite going on an all out attack in the final round and landing a few solid punches on the Frenchman's face and body he was clearly out-pointed in the end.

Prasad was a class above his opponent and scored quick points with short punches. After dominating in the first three rounds, he led the Moroccan on a dance around the ring before emerging a clear 25-15 winner.

Two other boxers -- Jitender Kumar and Vijender had been eliminated earlier.

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