Three other Indians crashed out of the opening round of the tournament on Monday.

India’s Sumit Kumar put up a power-packed performance to make sensational start to his campaign at the 73rd Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament, outclassing 2021 World Championships silver medallist Dzhambulat Bizhamov on the opening day in Sofia, Bulgaria.  

Playing his only second senior international tournament, the reigning national champion Sumit Kumar produced a flawless show to register a dominating 5-0 victory against his Russian opponent in the 75kg opening round match of the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament. The Indian will now face Ukraine’s Oleksandr Khyzhniak in the second round.

Meanwhile, Narender Berwal (+92kg), Varinder Singh (60kg) and Lakshya Chahar (86kg) made exits with defeats in their respective opening round matches. Narender went down fighting 2-3 against the Spanish boxer Ayoub Ghadfa Drissi while Varinder and Chahar lost to their Russian opponents Artur Subkhankulov and Sharabutdin Ataev by 0-5 and 1-4 margin respectively.

The second day of the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament will see four Indian boxers starting their campaigns.    

Shiksha will face a tough challenge against the reigning Asian champion Dina Zholaman from Kazakhstan in the 54kg opening round match. Nitu (48kg) and Anamika (50kg) are the other two Indian women to play their matches on Day 2 of the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament.    

Among men, Akash Sangwan, who received bye in the opening round, will play against the German pugilist Deniel Krotter in the 67kg second round match late on Monday night.

The Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament, which will be played till February 27, has been witnessing a participation of over 450 boxers from 36 countries around the world, including strong boxing nations such as Kazakhstan, Italy, Russia and France.

A 17-member Indian contingent, including seven men and 10 women, is participating at the tournament which is the first from the Golden Belt Series and also a testing event for International Boxing Association’s World Boxing Tour format. It is also the first exposure trip for Indian boxers this year.

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