Super Manoj smashes his way past Knowles

Manoj, the lone Indian in action on Friday, now has a tough bout at hand as he will be up against reigning European champion and fourth seed Raymond Moylette of Ireland.
Moylette rallied to beat Latvia’s Arturs Ahmetovs 16-11 in his pulsating opening bout.

Manoj, who had earlier beaten Knowles in the Commonwealth Games semifinals, took a slender one-point lead in the opening round, closing it 5-4 ahead.

The 25-year-old Haryana boxer then consolidated his lead to 11-8 by notching six points to his rival’s four in the second round.

In the final three minutes, the Indian counter-puncher added another six points to his tally to clinch the issue comfortably.

On Saturday, Olympic bronze-medallist Vijender Singh (75kg) will kick off his campaign in the event where he won a bronze medal the last time around.

Vijender, world number eight and seeded seventh, will face Cuba’s Olympic silver-medallist Emilio Correa Bayeaux in the opening round.

Emilio had beaten the Asian Games gold medallist Indian in the Olympic semifinals before a hand injury took away almost a year from him.

Also in action on Saturday will be Jai Bhagwan in the lightweight 60kg division.

Bhagwan, a bronze medallist at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, will face Lithuania’s Evaldas Petrauskas in his opening bout.

“Both the bouts are very tough. Vijender’s bout is tough we all know but even Jai’s bout is not easy. This Lithuanian guy is known to be tough and had beaten Vikas Krishan once when he was in the lightweight category,” said national coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu.

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