Shiva Thapa, 18, makes disappointing Olympic debut

Boxer Shiva Thapa is just 18 and his inexperience showed as he went down to Mexico’s Oscar Valdez Fierro in a first round Bantamweight (56 Kg) encounter at the ExCel South Arena on Saturday.

India has entered the London Games with its biggest ever boxing contingent comprising L Devendro Singh, Jai Bhagwan, Manoj Kumar, Vikas Krishan, Vijender Singh and Sumit Sangwan, besides Thapa.

A disappointed Shiva Thapa of India (left) turns away from Mexico’s Oscar Valdez Fierro after their first round Bantamweight encounter of the London Olympics at the ExCel Arena in London on Saturday. Fierro won the bout 14-9. Pic/AFP

A lot was expected off 2010 Youth Olympics silver medallist Shiva, who is the youngest Indian pugilist to have made the cut at the Games here. However, he was outpunched quite convincingly, losing 9-14 to the 21-year-old Mexican, who won bronze at the 2009 World Championships.

Thapa did show some signs of staging a comeback in the second round which he won 4-3, but his senior opponent regained the lead winning the third and final round 7-3.

Shiva seemed to have paid the price for employing a defensive approach in the opening round even as the Mexican came out all guns blazing. The Indian was in fact, made to run around the ring in the third round as Fierro decided it was time to wrap up the proceedings.

Acting chef de mission Brig PK Muralidharan Raja, who is also the secretary general of the Indian Boxing Federation admitted the result was surprising given the young INdian boxer’s promising performances in the past. More importantly, Raja said the defeat is a poor start for the Indian boxing contingent at the Games here.

“It is a little disappointing to start in this way, we were expecting that Shiva would go further. But the competition at this level is very tough,” said Raja.

Fierro meanwhile, is now all geared up to make this win count and progress further in the competition. “I was a little rusty at first, a little nervous... that’s how it is with first fights. But now I’ve done the first fight and I’m ready for the second,” he said. 

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