Thursday, October 16, 2008

Height doesn't matter

Thats' how Indian light flyweight boxer Thokchom Nanao Singh feels after sending shivers down the spine of his Sri Lankan opponent to romp into the quarterfinals

Suhrid Barua, October 13, 2008

The Indian light flyweight pugilist sent shivers down the spine of his Sri Lankan opponent to seal his place in quarters The picture of confidence was reflected in his swagger to the ring. It was as if Thokchom Nanao Singh was in a mood to 'party hard' in the ring. He gave an impression that he was in a tearing hurry to finish things off she he outboxed Weerapurage Sadun Kumara of Sri Lanka to storm into the quarter-finals in the light flyweight category (48-kg) of the boxing event here on Monday.

The stands may have been only half full but it failed to act as a downer on Nanao as he unleashed a fusillade of power-packed punches against the hapless Sri Lankan from the word go to straightway assert his supremacy over his opponent. Nanao just raced to an imposing 8-0 lead in the opening round to trigger cheers from the stands. The Army Sports Institute boxer towered over his opponent in the next round forcing the Sri Lankan to serve mandatory eight counts, leading the referee to stop the contest.

Coincidentally, his next round opponent, Thomas Stubbs of England, was also at his fiery best, toying with Ricardo Blackman of Barbados in a ridiculously one sided bout before the referee stopped the contest. So, both the quarter-final competitors would be super-confident after coming off RSC wins in their first round bouts.

From the Indian perspective, Nanao has been bandied about one boxer who should go the distance."I came to the ring thinking that I would wrap up the bout in the first round itself but it wasn't to be. I was not thinking of playing all the four rounds. I knew that once I ran up a huge lead in the first round, the win was within my striking distance, a bullish Nanao said after the bout.

The 2007 Commonwealth Boxing Championships silver medallist, countered all the talk going around about his height disadvantage. "I may not have a tall reach but I've my battle plans ready for my opponent. In boxing, courage and desire is important and I've those attributes in abundance," the Manipuri lad.

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