Boxing: Deepak fails to clear final hurdle, settles for a silver; Naveen gets a bronze
Deepak Kumar

Boxing: Deepak fails to clear final hurdle, settles for a silver; Naveen gets a bronze

New Delhi, February 27, 2021

Deepak Kumar (52kg) failed to clear the last hurdle as he lost the final face-off in a split decision against two-time European Champion Daniel Asenov of Bulgaria 2-3 and had to be content with a silver medal at the 72nd Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria on Saturday.

India finished their campaign in the tournament with two medals, the other medal winner being Naveen Boora (69kg) who bagged a bronze in his first international outing for India.

Deepak, who had chalked out a scintillating 4-1 victory against reigning Olympic champion and world champion Shakhobidin Zoirov from Uzbekistan in the semi-finals on Friday, fell short in the final against determined local boy Daniel Asenov, who won the bout 3-2.

The Indian opened with a cautious approach and was exposed to some solid punches from his opponent in the first round.

The boxer from Hisar looked to improve and up his attack and gave his all in the second round with some decisive punches landing on the opponent’s face. Deepak showed controlled aggression, but Asenov held his ground.

An assertive Deepak put his all in the final round but Asenov landed some clear punches in the dying minutes to win the bout 3-2 in a really close encounter.

“It is disappointing that I could not win the gold but these last few days have been nothing short of a dream come true. I was determined to make a mark in this tournament especially when I got an opportunity to play against a champion opponent like Shakhobidin Zoirov in the semis," Deepak said after the bout.

"I am very happy that I could come out a winner. Though a lot of work still needs to be done and I will be focusing on it along with my coaches as I go return to India,” he added.

The silver medal is also the 23-year-old Deepak’s maiden medal from this prestigious and Europe’s oldest tournament. He lost here in the first round last year.

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