Young Indian boxing star Nishant Dev produced a power-packed performance and recorded a scintillating victory to advance to the pre-quarterfinals of the IBA Men’s World Boxing Championships 2023 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Wednesday.
Nishant, a 22-year-old boxer from Karnal, faced a tough challenge against Azerbaijan’s Sarkhan Aliyev in the 71kg category during the 2023 World Championships. However, Nishant showcased his world-class strength and technique by employing a strategy of attacking from a distance and landing swift punches to gain an early lead. He defended sternly and judged his opponent’s attacks well, leaving no chance for Aliyev to execute his moves. Nishant’s flawless performance proved too quick for Aliyev, and he secured a 5-0 victory.
Nishant will now face Lee Sangmin of South Korea in the next round, as per a press release from the Boxing Federation of India (BFI). Having reached the quarterfinals of the competition in the last edition as well, the Indian player will be aiming to go all the way this time around.
On Thursday, four Indian pugilists will take to the ring for their respective tournament openers. The 2022 Thailand Open champion Govind Sahani (48kg) will square off against Mehron Shafiev of Tajikistan, while the 2019 Asian silver medallist Deepak Kumar (51kg) will face Luis Delgado of Ecuador.
Record six-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa (63.5 kg), who received a bye in the first round, will begin his campaign from the Round of 16 stage as he aims to add another World Championships medal to his kitty after bronze in the 2015 edition in Doha.
The bronze medalists of the 2022 Asian Championships, Narender Berwal (+92kg) and Muhammad Abroridinov of Tajikistan, who also got byes in the first round, will go head-to-head against each other.
The tournament is witnessing the participation of 538 boxers, including several Olympic medallists, from 107 countries and started on 1 May. It will conclude on 14 May.