London: India’s Manoj Kumar cruised into the pre-quarterfinals of the men’s boxing event of the Olympic Games with a convincing victory over Serdar Hudayberdiyev of Turkemnistan at the ExCel arena in London on Tuesday.

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Manoj started cautiously but gradually opened up to prevail over his opponent with a 13-7 verdict in the men’s light welter (64 kg) category.

The Indian pugilist did not exert too much in the opening round as he gauged the strategy of his opponent who also was quite content in defending.

The score was tied 2-2 at the end of the opening round but Manoj gradually turned on the heat with deft punches and showed good reflexes to win the second round 7-3.

From then on, the Indian pugilist completely dominated the bout with a flurry of punches which gave no chance to his opponent from Turkeministan.

Manoj thus becomes the fifth boxer to qualify for the pre-quarterfinals. 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Vijender Singh, Jai Bhagwan and Devendo singh have already progressed to the round of 16 and Vikas Krishan has got a bye into the pre-quarterfinals.

Manoj will take on Great Britains Thomas Stalker in the pre-quarterfinals on August 4.

(Agencies)

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