Sofia (Bulgaria), Feb 23 (IANS) Two-time Commonwealth bronze medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin and 2021 Asian Youth champion Bishwamitra Chongtham came up with dazzling performances to secure their berths in the quarterfinals of the 74th Strandja Memorial International Boxing Tournament here on Thursday.
Hussamuddin overcame Michele Baldassi of Italy in his Round of 16 match of the 57kg category while Bishwamitra got the better of Kenzhe Muratuly of Kazakhstan in 51kg.
Starting off on the front foot in the 7kg final, the Italian Baldassi displayed his attacking intent from the get-go and made the first round a closely contested affair.
However, Hussamuddin, the Telangana-born pugilist, utilised his experience and technical ability to make a stellar comeback in the second round by landing a flurry of punches and defending his opponent’s jabs sternly.
Continuing that momentum, Hussamuddin took charge of the decider too and secured a 4-1 victory. He will take on Bazeyan Artur of Armenia in the quarterfinals on Friday.
In the 51kg category, Bishwamitra squared off against Kenzhe Muratuly in what was a rematch of the 2021 Asian Youth championships quarterfinals in which the Indian had defeated his opponent by a split decision.
The young Indian pugilist produced a similar match-winning display against the Kazakh by dominating the bout with his quick movement and supreme attacking technique. He clinched a deserving 5-0 win by unanimous decision and will now face Roach Jordan of the USA in his quarterfinal bout on Friday.
In the another Round of 16 bout, the 2021 Asian champion Sanjeet suffered a defeat by knockout in the first round against Talley Jamar of the USA in the 92kg category.
Later on Thursday night, four Indian male pugilists will be in quarterfinals action.
The 2022 National champions duo of Govind Kumar Sahani (48kg) and Akash (67kg) will be facing the two-time Asian champion Nodrijon Mirzakhmedov of Uzbekistan and Sebastian Terteryan of Denmark respectively.
The 2021 World Youth Champion Sachin will take to the ring against Muzafarov Shakhzod of Uzbekistan in the 54kg category while the 2022 Asian Championships bronze medallist Narender will face Mahammad Abdullayev of Azerbaijan in the 92+kg category.
Late on Wednesday night, the 2018 World Championships bronze medallists Simranjeet Kaur and Jyoti recorded identical 5-0 wins to progress to the quarterfinals. While Simranjeet defeated Danielle Scanlon of Australia in the women’s 60kg category, Jyoti triumphed over Nozimakhan Bultrova of Uzbekistan in the 52kg category. Both pugilists will contest the quarterfinals on Friday.
Arundhati Choudhary, on the other hand, went down fighting after a 1-4 defeat against Caitlin Parker of Australia in the 75kg category.
The prestigious tournament is witnessing the participation of 398 pugilists, including 256 men and 142 women which is the highest ever in the competition’s history.