Akhil Kumar cruises to Round 2

India's Akhil Kumar's cruised into the round of 16 in the bantemweight category (54 kg). He beat Frenchman Ali Hallab in points 12-5 in round one.

updated: August 15, 2008 12:35 IST
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New Delhi:

Indian pugilist duo of Akil Kumar and Jitender packed enough punch in the boxing ring to stroll into the pre-quarterfinals in their respective categories in the Beijing Olympics on Tuesday.

In the 51kg category, Jitender Kumar pounded Ulas Memis until the 17-year-old pugilist from Turkey retired while trailing 1-21.

Later in the evening, Akhil tamed Ali Hallab of France 12-5 in the 54 kg category to reach the second round.

Jitender now meets Tulashboy Doniyorov of Uzbekistan while Akhil takes on 2007 world champion Sergey Vodopyanov in the pre-quarters.

Akhil was in control right from the beginning and led 4-2 after the first round. A lop-sided second round saw him stretching the lead beyond Hallab and the Indian did not break sweat in the last two rounds as he ambled to an easy win.

"My next round match is going to be crucial and fighting against a world champion is never going to be easy. I'll put my best foot forward," Akhil said.

Earlier in the day, Jitender was in complete control of the bout as he asserted himself on Turkey youngster Ulas Memis, who simply had no answer to the Indians.

Jitender led 5-0 after first round and though Memis put up a slightly better show in the second, the Indian landed a flurry of punches on the Turkey boxer to take an unassailable lead.

"I was confident that I would beat him, even though this was the first time we faced each other," Jitender said.

"We had same height but I was better in counter-punching. I attacked a lot because I wanted to score and win. My tactic remains to stay cool, for I perform better when I'm so," he said.

"I'll discus my strategy with Akhil tomorrow, along with the coach. We have to win a medal in this Olympics," he asserted.