Strandja boxing meet: Deepak Kumar settles for silver

Vinayak Padmadeo

Today News Online Service

New Delhi, February 27

Naib Subedar Deepak Kumar’s wonderful run at the 72nd Strandja Memorial boxing tournament came to an end in a controversial split decision. The judges awarded the fiercely-contested flyweight final to Bulgaria’s Daniel Asenov, a two-time European Champion.

While the local boy shaded the first round of the final with his quick counterattacks, it was the Indian who did admirably well in the next two rounds. Deepak’s combination punches caught the Bulgarian several times.

Despite his heroics, the judges handed the gold medal to the Bulgarian and the irony was not lost on the young Indian.

“I was not hit in the third round at all. Therefore, as a boxer you can guess that you have given your all in the ring. So I am disappointed,” Deepak said after the bout.

“Look, I know that I did not start well in the first round. I concede that. I did very well in the next two but the judges didn’t consider it. What can you do about it!” he added.

Deepak had raised eyebrows in the tournament after he stunned the reigning Olympics and world champion Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan 4-1 in the semifinal.

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