3 Indian boxers off to winning starts at 72nd Strandja Memorial Tournament


Three Indian boxers, led by Asian Championship silver medallist Deepak Kumar, started their campaign on winning note on the opening day at the 72nd Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Deepak (52kg) looked in complete control throughout the contest against Kazakhstan’s Olzhas Bainiyazov during an impressive 5-0 win while 2017 World Youth champion and 2019 national champion Jyoti Gulia also dished out a solid show to clinch 4-1 victory against Ukraine’s Tetiana Kob in the women’s 51kg category.

Jyoti was scheduled to face Kazakhstan’s Nazym Kyzaibay in her next round match on Tuesday.

Naveen Kumar was another Indian who emerged victorious on the opening day of the tournament as he beat USA’s Darius Fulghum 3-2 in the 91kg category. He will fight against France’s Wilfried Florentin in the next round.

But Sakshi (57kg), Shashi Chopra (60kg), and Lalita (69kg) suffered defeats in opening-round matches. While Sakshi went down USA’s Andrea Medina 1-4, Chopra lost to Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira 0-5. Lalita also lost her bout 0-5 against Uzbekistan’s Navbakhor Khamidova.

Apart from Jyoti and Naveen, Kavinder Singh Bisht (57kg), Naveen Boora (69kg), Ankit Khatana (75kg), and Sachin Kumar (81kg) will be seen in action on Tuesday night.

A 12-member Indian team, comprising seven men and five women, is taking part in the tournament in which boxers from 30 countries, including top boxing nations such as the USA, Ukraine, France and Russia, are competing.