Asian champion Shiva Thapa (56kg) and Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar (64kg) were the only ones to be seeded among the five Indian boxers who were handed first-round byes in the draw for the World Championships in Almaty, Kazakhstan. While Shiva has been seeded fourth, Manoj got the No.6 billing in the event which starts Monday.
Th. Nanao Singh (49kg), Olympian Sumit Sangwan (81kg) and Asiad silver-medallist Manpreet Singh (91kg) are the other three boxers apart from Manoj and Shiva, who have been given byes in the first round. Star boxer Vijender Singh (75kg), who was the first Indian to clinch a medal (a bronze in 2009) in the World Championships, had no such luck and will open his campaign against Sweden’s Hampus Henriksson on October 17. If he wins his opening bout, Vijender will find himself up against Ireland’s Jason Quigley, the reigning European champion.
Madan Lal (52kg) will kick off India’s campaign against Moldova’s Alexandros Riscan. On Tuesday, Vikash Malik (60kg) will go up against Meder Mamakeev of Kyrgyzstan. A day later Asian Championships silver-medallist Mandeep Jangra will step in for his first bout, against Selemani Kidunda of Tanzania. Manpreet will start off against Keddy Agnes of Seychelles on October 18. Shiva will be in action the next day when he takes on the winner of the October 17 bout between Filipino Mario Fernandez and Guyana’s Imran Khan. Manoj will open on October 18 against the winner of the October 15 bout between Kenya’s Denis Okoth and Turkey’s Fatih Keles. Nanao, will be up against Scotland’s Aqeel Ahmed on October 19 followed by Sumit, who will face ninth seed Petru Ciobanu of Moldova.
Indian in action: 52kg: Madan Lal vs Alexandros Riscan (MLD) 2:30 pm onwards on www.youtube.com/user/AIBABoxing