The fight between Deepak Kumar and Daniel Esenov ended in a split decision.© Twitter
Indian boxer Deepak Kumar’s superb running in the 72nd Strandja Memorial tournament ended on Saturday with a silver medal in Sofia, Bulgaria, when he lost a final-fight flyweight (52kg) final. The Asian silver winner was against Deepak, Bulgaria’s Daniel Asenov, a two-time European Championship gold medalist. The bout ended in a split decision in favor of the local favorite. The Indian created a lot of turmoil in the tournament when he competed in Olympic and World Champion – Shakhobidin Zoeirov of Uzbekistan – in his semi-final performance.
On Saturday, the Bulgarian seemed to be on the bus with two boxers in the opening round and was brisk in their counter-attack game. Asenov’s consistent high guard also denied Deepak a clear shot for the most part.
Deepak had a better second round and also delivered a strong defensive performance, but the judges ruled in Esenov’s favor.
However, in the final three minutes, it was Deepak who called the shots for the most part, easily dodging the relentless attacks of his opponent and also launching some of his stronger ones. But Asenov, despite being visually impaired, did enough to seal the issue from that point on.
A Naib Subedar in the Indian Army, Deepak is also a former India Open gold medalist.
Earlier, Naveen Boor (69 kg) tied for the bronze medal after defeating Asian Games gold medalist Bobo-Uson Baturov of Uzbekistan in their semi-final bout.
With this, India signed with two medals at the event this year, which was lower than the country in the previous edition. None of the Indian women boxers could make a medal and were knocked out of the quarter-final stage.
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