India's Ashish Chaudhary paid the price for an underwhelming start as his maiden Olympic appearance ended with an opening-round defeat to China's Erbieke Touheta in the men’s 75kg boxing, in Tokyo, on Monday.
The 27-year-old former Asian silver-medallist went down 0-5 in a bout that could have been way closer had he turned it up a little bit earlier.
The boxer from Himachal Pradesh was caught on the back-foot in the opening round and lost by a unanimous decision as the busy Chinese used his jab to good effect.
Ashish raised his game in the second round and gave a better account of himself with more attack, but the lack of clear and precise punches hurt his cause as the Chinese excelled in dodging him on most occasions.
Touheta's combination hits also connected better.
"Plan was to wear out the Chinese physically and Ashish tried hard but he didn't connect well. His punches were going up or landing wide. He got some control only in the third round but it was too late," India’s boxing's High Performance Director Santiago Nieva said.
Ashish went all out in the final three minutes and troubled Touheta despite a cut beneath his left eye.
The judges also scored unanimously in his favour, but the Chinese already had the decisive lead which earned him victory.
"His defence in the first two rounds should have been better. Little mistakes that cost him but the effort was there," Nieva added.
Touheta will next face Brazil's third-seeded Herbert Sousa, who is a World Championships bronze-medallist.
Ashish is the third Indian boxer to bow out of the mega-event after Vikas Krishan (69kg) and Manish Kaushik (63kg) also exited with opening-round losses.
On Wednesday, Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) will be the lone Indian boxer in action when she takes on Germany's Nadine Apetz in the last-16 stage.