Fourth seed Shiva Thapa (60kg) advanced to the Asian Boxing Championship quarterfinals with a hard-fought victory.

Shiva, a World Championships bronze-medallist and a two- time medallist at the Asian meet, edged past Kyrgyzstan’s Omurbek Malabekov in a split verdict to make the last-eight stage.

Shiva will face Chinese Taipei’s Chu-En Lai in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

Also advancing to the quarters was Sumit Sangwan (91kg), a former gold-medallist at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers. He defeated Mongolia’s Erdenebayar Sandagsuren in his last-16 bout late last night. Up ahead for Sumit is third-seeded Chinese Fengkai Yu.

Shiva managed to get the better of Omurbek by landing most of the few clean punches in the bout.

Both the boxers played the waiting game for a major part of the contest but the former Asian champion from India was a shade ahead of his rival in capitalising on the opportunities he got.

Omurbek, despite his long reach, struggled to connect cleanly and even ended up sustaining a cut above his left eye.

b”Shiva Thapa will face Chinese Taipei’s Chu-En Lai in the quarterfinals on Wednesday. PTI.”

Vikas Krishan (75kg), Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) and Amit Phangal (49kg) are the other Indian boxers to have entered the quarters so far.

The tournament, featuring 179 boxers from 28 countries, is a qualifier for the August-September World Championships in Hamburg, Germany.

The top-six in each of the 10 weight categories in this tournament will make the cut for the big event.

India had won four medals at the last Asian Championships in 2015. Vikas had won the country its lone silver medal, while Shiva, L Devendro Singh (52kg) and Satish (+91kg) had settled for bronze medals.

India’s last gold medal at the Asian meet had come in 2013 through Shiva, when he was competing in the bantamweight division. Prior to that M Suranjoy Singh (52kg) had won a gold medal in the 2009 edition of the Championship.

Feature Image: PTI