India’s star boxer Vijender Singh moved into the quarterfinals of the men’s middle weight (75 kg) category of the Olympic Games with a nail-biting one-point victory over his American opponent at the ExCel Arena in London on Thursday.
The 26-year-old Vijender, the bronze medallist of the Beijing Olympic Games, scraped past Terrell Gausha with a 16-15 verdict in the thrilling contest of skill and strategy.
Spurred on by a vociferous crowd which kept chanting “India, India”, Vijender took a slender one point lead after the first round which ultimately was the decisive factor for the Indian to pip his American rival.
In the second round, Vijender allowed his opponent to come back a little bit as he left his guard open and, and though he landed a few punches, it was not enough to give him a clear lead. As a result, the second round ended with a 5-5 scoreline.
Vijender adapted a more attacking strategy in the third and final round but the American was equal to the task as he fended off the punches deftly and counter attacked fiercely.
As the two boxers waited for the result, the crowd kept chanting ““India Jeete Ga” and a roar erupted in the stadium when Vijender was declared the winner.
Vijender, a former world number one, will now take on Abbos Atoev of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals. Atoev prevailed over Bogdan Juratoni of Russia 12-10 in the pre-quarterfinals.