London, Aug 9 (PTI): A brave-heart L Devendro Singh put up a gallant fight against Ireland's Paddy Barnes before losing the fiercely-fought light flyweight (49 kg) quarter-final bout 18-23 at the London Olympics, here today.
With the Devendro's defeat India's boxing campaign ended at the Games, as woman boxer MC Mary Kom is the lone medal winner with a bronze.
Indian men's boxing team returns empty handed from the quadrennial extravaganza with only Vijender Singh and 20-year-old Devendro reaching the last-eight stage.
It was Devendro's inexperience that was partly responsible for his downfall. Although he landed a few hard blows on his opponent, a Beijing Games bronze medallist, the Irishman was equal to his task with exhibition of fantastic defending.
Barnes showed that boxing is not only about trading punches but it's also a question of fleet footedness when it comes to defending. The manner in which he time and again evaded an attacking Devendro made the battle even more entertaining. He induced an impetuous Devendro to indulge in 'head butting' which cost him two penalty points in round two. If Devendro tried to 'sting like a bee', Barnes was ready to float like a butterfly.
That really put the Indian on backfoot as Barnes took an unassailable 17-10 lead after second round. The third round was 8-6 in Devendro's favour but it was a tall order to surpass after being penalised in the second round. Barnes also got two points docked as he was continuously trying to put his head down in order to defend the punches.
Although Devendro lost the bout, he certainly won the hearts of millions of Indians with his big-hearted performance.