Fighters go down to Thunder

The lone Indian franchise in the AIBA-promoted pro-league came back twice to draw level with the Italian franchise opponents before 2008 Olympic silver medallist Clemente Rousso of Italy out-punched his Indian heavyweight rival Krishan Kumar to earn a unanimous verdict in the deciding fifth bout.

Mumbai Fighters started on a disappointing note as Balbir Singh, the 2002 World Cadet champion, was outclassed by his rival Vitaly Volkov of Ukraine 3-0 in the bantamweight bout.

Diwakar Prasad, the three-time senior national champion, fought in a very impressive fashion to earn a 2-1 verdict against Argentinian Juan Javier Herrera, a bronze winner in the last South American Games, in the lightweight contest to bring Mumbai Fighters on an even keel for a 1-1 scoreline.

Ukrainian world championship bronze winner Sergiy Derevyanchenko, then simply overwhelmed Delhi Commonwealth Games gold medallist Patrick Gallagher of Ireland, wearing Mumbai Fighters colours, with a unanimous 3-0 verdict in the middleweight bout.

It was left to a brave Jasveer Singh, bronze medal winner in the President’s Cup in Jakarta and in the China Cup earlier this year, to put up a superb display of attacking boxing against taller southpaw Nikolajs Grisunins of Latvia to earn a 3-0 verdict.

Jasveer trailed his rival initially before coming out with an all-out attack with a flurry of punches to his opponent’s body and head for an emphatic verdict in the lightheavyweight fight that brought Mumbai Fighters on level terms with Milano Thunder (2-2).

But any hopes entertained by the Indian franchise of a victorious debut were dashed by the world no 1 heavyweight Rousso who simply tore apart his Indian rival Krishan Kumar, the 2007 National Games winner and 2010 silver medalist. The contest, thus, ended 3-2 in the Italian franchise’s favour.

Mumbai Fighters will now take on Dynamo Moscow in an away tie on November 18

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