Glasgow: Star Indian boxer Vijender Singh and Manoj Kumar on Saturday made resounding starts to their campaigns at the Commonwealth Games, winning their respective bouts with identical 3-0 scorelines.
Manoj Kumar and Vijender Singh (Pic/PTI)
Vijender punched his way to the pre-quarter-finals with a unanimous verdict over Andrew Kometa of Kiribati in the 75kg bout while Manoj beat Mokhachane Moshoshoe of Lesotho with the same margin in the 64kg category.
Vijender was fast in his movement in his first bout of the Games and played to a plan, emerging victorious without taking much risk.
The 28-year-old was cautious initially but went on the attack mode after getting a measure of his opponent. He lowered his guard and kept attacking.
A right hook in the third round and then a flurry of punches from him towards the end rattled the unfancied boxer from Kiribati. Two out of three judges gave 10-8 verdicts in favour of Vijender in both the second and third rounds, indicating his dominance over Kometa.
"First bout is always tough and I am happy I won it. I am hoping for the best and will go step by step. I am hoping to at least reach the final," he said after the bout.
"Without the headgear, it is dangerous and an injury may happen. Manoj Kumar was hit on the head (in the earlier bout) and so we have to be careful. I have to make some adjustments and it all depends on the opponent you are facing," he said.
Manoj was also cautious in his opening round but then completely dominated the bout in the remaining two rounds. But, all the three judges who handed the decision in favour of Manoj gave a close 10-9 verdict in all the three rounds, indicating that it was a close fight.