*Nishant Dev 71kg (File Photo)
New Delhi, 21 February: National champion Nishant Dev kicked off his campaign with a dominating win over China's Wang Peicheng at the Strandja International Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria on Monday.
Squaring off against Wang in the 71kg bout, the Indian showcased his swift movement while dodging his opponent’s attacks. The southpaw smartly shifted gears as the bout progressed and utilized his attacking prowess to keep the Chinese at bay.
The Haryana-born boxer controlled the proceedings throughout the bout, landing powerful, accurate punches to assert dominance over his Chinese counterpart and secured a 5-0 victory by unanimous decision. He will now face the 2020 Olympic Games bronze medallist Aidan Walsh of Ireland in the Round of 16 on Tuesday.
In the other bout of the day, Sunita went down fighting against Patricio Shera Ma of the USA in the 54kg category, suffering a 0:5 defeat.
Five more Indian pugilists will begin their respective campaigns by take to the ring for their bouts. The 2 Asian Championships bronze medallist Sumit will be in action as he takes on Sotiropoulos Iason of Greece in the men’s 75kg category.
While Kalaivani will face Tesara Cleo of Philippines in the women’s 48kg category, Anamika and Vinakshi will be up against Chang Yuan of China and Hamzayeva Aghamaliyeva Mashati of Azerbaijan in the 50kg and 57kg categories respectively.
The standout fixture of the day will be between the 2022 Asian Championships bronze medallist Ankushita Boro and decorated Irish pugilist Amy Broadhust who is the reigning world champion in the women’s 66kg category. All four women pugilists will be contesting in the Round of 16 stage.
The record six-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa and two-time Commonwealth bronze medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin will be commencing with their tournament openers on Tusday. Thapa will take on Lundgaard Jensen Frederik of Denmark in the 63.5kg category while Hussamuddin will face Lyu Ping of China in the 57kg category.
The 2018 World Championships bronze medallist Simranjit Kaur will get underway at the tournament as she squares off against Scanlon Danielle of Australia in the 60kg category on Wednesday.
In all 398 pugilists, including 256 men and 142 women, the highest ever in the competition’s history are taking part in the tournament this time