Chandigarh, Dec 12: After Akhil Kumar and Dinesh Kumar on Wednesday, it was the turn of Jitender Kumar and Anthresh Lakra to enter the semi-finals of the AIB A World Cup boxing at the Megasport Sport Palace in Moscow on Thursday and assure themselves of a medal each.
While Lakra got a walkover in the 57kg featherweight category from his Mexican opponent Arturo Santos, Kumar out-punched Gage Jo of Wales 18-6.
According to the information received here, India’s man in the red corner, the pint-sized Jitender, dominated the show right from the word go in the 51kg category. He finished the bout with an emphatic right to stun Welshman Jo.
"It was my day today, I played sensibly and scored as many points as I could without taking any risk. I was facing him for the first time and had not even watched his videos ever. So I kept a cautious approach in the first round. The 5-0 lead in the first round gave me a lot of confidence and I started to play freely as the rounds progressed. My punches were hard-hitting and the right upper cut fetched me most of the points. I stuck to my natural game and stressed on body movement to keep him in doubt," the Haryana boxer said over phone from Moscow.
Once Jitender got a comprehensive lead in the first round he did not let the momentum slip and kept on building the lead in every round. The second round too turned out fruitful for Jitender as he extended his lead to 8-1. It was a no-contest from there.
Coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu expressed satisfaction after all four of the four boxers ensured a medal for the team. "Jitender boxed sensibly, with a cool mind. He scored on every opportunity he got and defended well. He dominated his opponent from beginning till end. All the boys have worked very hard and luck too has been on their side. We are hopeful of bagging gold in all the four categories," he said.