Doha: Shiva Thapa came from behind to notch up a stunning knockout victory, while Vikas Krishan out-witted his more fancied rival in an exhausting triumph to enter the quarter-finals of the World Championships yesterday.
Asian silver-medallist Vikas (75kg) got the better of European silver winner and fourth seeded Pole Tomasz Jablonski 2-1. Shiva (56kg), on the other hand, rallied to defeat the African champion Mohamed Hamout of Morocco to make the Last Eight stage.
Shiva knocked out his rival 26 seconds into the third round of the bout with a brutal left hook which landed right in between the eyes of Hamout. The Moroccan instantly collapsed in the ring, leading to an eight count following which medical attendants escorted him out in a disoriented state.
The 21-year-old Shiva will next be up against Qatar’s Hakan Erseker, who beat Vanuatu’s Boe Warawara 2-1. 23-year-old Vikas, meanwhile, will face Egypt’s Hosam Abdin.
“Shiva was exceptionally good with his hooks and that eventually won him the bout. Even his combination punches on counter-attack were very accurate. It’s a very rare knockout win for an Indian boxer, I can’t recall any in my memory,” national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu said.
“Vikas boxed superbly. The Polish guy was a tempo boxer but Vikas applied his mind well. He used uppercuts to the chin and occasional right hooks with precision,” added Sandhu analysing the overall performance.