Incheon: India experienced mixed fortunes Thursday in men's boxing as Glasgow Commonwealth Games (CWG) silver medallist L. Devendro Singh advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of the men's light fly (46-49kg) division but Manoj Kumar was knocked out of light welter (64kg) category in the 17th Asian Games at the Seonhak Gymnasium here.
Devendro, 2013 Asian Championships silver medallist, got a walkover in his round of 32 match from his Kuwaiti opponent Albathali Fahad and will next face Bounphone Lasavongsy of Laos in the round of 16, Sunday.
Later in the day, Manoj, a 2010 CWG gold medallist and an Asian Championships bronze medallist, lost 1-2 to Japan's Kawachi Masatsugu in his round of 32 match.
Masatsugu was superior in the first two rounds before Manoj made a good comeback in the final three minutes. But the Indian's surge was cut short as he was warned by the referee for ducking too much. The Japanese lost his balance on more than one occasion while trying to save himself from Manoj's assault but managed to hold on to his lead and clinch the tie.
It was only last week that the sports ministry decided to confer Manoj with the Arjuna Award after initially leaving him out. Manoj had taken the sports ministry to court after he was overlooked by the Kapil Dev-led Arjuna Awards selection committee, which mistakenly believed that he was involved in a doping case.
Four Indian boxers will now be seen in action in their respective last-16 round bouts Friday with Shiva Thapa (56kg) taking on Nadir of Pakistan, followed by Kuldeep Singh (81kg) against Anavat Thongkrathok of Thailand while Akhil Kumar (60kg) will face Filipino Charly Suarez and Amritpreet Singh (91kg) against South Korean Park Namhyeong.