Young Indian boxer Nishant Dev produced a power-packed performance, recording a scintillating 5-0 victory over 2021 World Championships bronze medallist Sarkhan Aliyev of Azerbaijan to advance to the pre-quarterfinals of the World Boxing Championships here on Wednesday. The 22-year-old boxer from Karnal put up a world-class display of strength and supreme technique, utilising his strategy of attacking from distance and landing a swift combination of punches to start the bout on the front foot.
By judging his opponent’s attacks well and defending sternly, Nishant gave the Azerbaijani no chance to execute his attacks. The southpaw, who hardly put a foot wrong, proved to be too quick for Aliyev. Nishant, who had reached the quarter-finals in the last edition as well, will now face Lee Sangmin of South Korea in the next round.
Nishant poses after entering the Pre-quarters in style __@AjaySingh_SG l @debojo_m#MWCHs#WorldChampionships#PunchMyHaiDum#Boxing @nishantdevjr pic.twitter.com/k8NhlY2yhI— Boxing Federation (@BFI_official) May 3, 2023
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 (63.5kg), 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 medallists 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 ongoing tournament is witnessing the participation of 538 boxers, including several Olympic medallists, from 107 countries.