New Delhi: One of the rare case of Indian boxers neither matching up nor improving their previous show, the just-concluded World Junior Championships proved difficult proposition for the country's pugilists because of a new scoring system and unprecedented participation.

Back with just a silver and a bronze, two less than what they won the last time around, Indian junior boxers struggled to cope with the new system of scoring and lost some close
bouts to bow out early.

"The new system under which the scores are not flashed after every point but after the conclusion of every round is quite tricky. Our boxers were not quite prepared for it," said
junior coach M S Dhaka.

"As a result, at least four of our boys lost by a point or two as they could not keep track of where they stood. Besides, this time there were 48 countries in fray, which is a record number for junior world championships. The draws became bigger and we did not expect this kind of competition," he conceded.

The silver medal came through Naveen Kumar (50kg), the newest rising prospect from what has now become the cradle of Indian boxing - Bhiwani.

The 15-year-old, who is a two-time national champion and a gold-medallist of the prestigious Hyder Aliyev Junior Championships, took to the ring as sitting in a classroom was becoming too big an ask for him.

"I turned to boxing because I was not good at studies. My elder brother is in fact a youth-level boxer. My uncle initiated me into boxing and I started out in 2005," said Naveen, who idolises Bhiwani's most popular boxer – Olympic and World Championship bronze-medallist Vijender Singh.

Naveen said he could well have struck gold for India had he not become overconfident before his final bout.

"I beat a Russian in the semifinals and that got to me probably. I became overconfident and thought I would win easily in the final and that cost me the bout.

"I have learnt my lesson, I will never take my opponent lightly again. It is important to be at the peak of form, you cannot afford to ease up during the tournament," he said.

(Agencies)