Manish Kaushik becomes ninth Indian boxer destined for Tokyo

The other bout in the first session featuring an Indian saw men’s light heavyweight Sachin Kumar lose his box off final

By Andre Pitts ·

Manish Kaushik became the ninth Indian boxer to qualify for the 2020 Olympics following a split decision win in his box off bout at the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers in Amman, Jordan on Wednesday.

The Indian had to work hard to earn his ticket after a difficult fight that saw him win the first two rounds to secure a spot in India’s Tokyo-bound boxing contingent. Even though he lost the last round of the bout, Manish Kaushik had enough of a points lead from the first two rounds to win the fight.

“It was my dream to play at the Olympics and today it has finally come true for me and my family,” a delighted Manish Kaushik told the Olympic Channel after his win. “My coaches have played a huge contribution in this. Thank you, everyone.”

Sachin Kumar, who was also in action at the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers, lost his men’s light heavyweight box off final in what was the last bout of the morning session.

Manish Kaushik won his Box Off bout at the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers to book his ticket to Tokyo

Manish Kaushik wins box off to qualify for Tokyo 2020

Manish Kaushik went up against second seed Harry Garside in what was a rematch of the 2018 Commonwealth Games 60kg final, which the Australian won.

After a cautious start by both boxers, Garside began landing the crisper punches. The Australian southpaw was using his left-right combinations effectively and looked to force the pace of the bout.

The Indian lightweight took time to find his range and caught the advancing Australian with a wicked right hook and punishing left crosses to the body.

Harry Garside fought back with a right hook of his own followed by a left to the Indian’s chin. Manish Kaushik, though, ended the round pushing forward, even connecting with a left cross to the body before the bell to win the round 4-1.

The second seed came out more aggressive in the second round and began well with a clubbing right jab. He followed that up with a left cross and two right uppercuts as he looked to take the fight to the Indian.

However, Manish Kaushik responded with a combination off the ropes and a left cross to push a marauding Harry Garside back.

Watch: Manish Kaushik edges Harry Garside in box-off thriller

Indian lightweight Manish Kaushik successfully secured his place at Tokyo 2...

That said, the Commonwealth Games winner kept coming at Manish Kaushik and landed with a left on the bell but despite his best efforts, he lost the second round 1-4 as well.

The final round saw Harry Garside give it his all as he looked to somehow win the contest. Manish Kaushik looked to clinch and caught the Australian above his right eye and opened him up.

A bloodied Harry Garside, though, continued to go hell for leather in the last round and began landing big shots on Manish Kaushik.

Hard punches to the body and a cracking shot with his left staggered the Indian. Harry Garside kept inflicting damage till the final bell, while a hurt Manish Kaushik tried to create distance.

However, Manish Kaushik staying on his feet gave him a split decision victory and earned him his ticket to Tokyo 2020.

Relief from Manish Kaushik after narrowly sealing Tokyo 2020 place

It was tough, but he did it! See what Manish Kaushik had to say after the l...

Sachin Kumar fails to follow suit

Sachin Kumar faced Shabbos Negmatulloev in the light heavyweight box-off final. The Indian light heavyweight failed to find his footing at any stage in the bout despite winning the first round via split decision.

Negmatulloev was on the front foot from the first bell and didn’t relent in pressure till the end of the bout.

After feeling hard done by with the judges’ scores in the first round, he upped the ante even more in the second. The light heavyweight from Tajikistan was catching Sachin Kumar unerringly with heavy punches to the body and face.

Sachin Kumar could rarely get his own punches away, trying to contend with the barrage of shots that were coming his way.

An uppercut snapped the Indian boxer’s head back towards the end of round two, which culminated with rights to the head and vicious punches to the body by Shabbos Negmatulloev.

Round three began with another brutal right by Shabbos Negmatulloev, who was showing no signs of slowing down.

A punch to the liver had Sachin Kumar struggling and gasping for air in the midway point of the round.

Another devastating right cross led to Sachin Kumar spitting out his mouthpiece with the writing on the wall.

Shabbos Negmatulloev eventually went on to win the bout by unanimous decision and there were no complaints from the Indian corner after being thoroughly outpunched.

When and where to watch the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers

You can follow all the action from the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers live exclusively on the Olympic Channel as well as our Facebook page. The evening session is scheduled to begin at 8:30 PM IST.

You can also follow the daily live blog in both English and Hindi on the Olympic Channel.