Deepak Kumar upstages world champion Zoirov to enter finals of Strandja Memorial

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Asian silver-winner Deepak Kumar (52kg) on Friday stunned Olympic and world champion Shakhobiddin Zoirov of Uzbekistan to storm into the finals of the 72nd Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Deepak clinched one of the most memorable wins of his career with a 4-1 win over more fancied Zoirov, who had claimed the 2019 world championship title beating India’s Amit Panghal.

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Zoirov is also a silver-medallist from the Asian Games and the championships.

In the quarterfinals on Thursday, Deepak defeated Bulgaria’s Darislav Vasilev 5-0.

However, former youth world champion Jyoti Gulia (51kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (75kg) bowed out of the women’s competition.

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With their loss, India’s challenge in the women’s draw has come to an end without anyone managing to secure a medal.

Manjeet Singh (+91kg), in the men’s draw, also made his exit from the tournament.

Gulia, who defeated two-time world champion Nazym Kyzaibay in the quarterfinals, went down 0-5 to Romania’s Lacramioara Perijoc.

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Kachari also lost by the same margin to American Naomi Graham.

Manjeet was beaten by Armenia’s Gurgen Hovhannisyan.

Earlier in the competition, Naveen Boora (69kg) made the semifinals by defeating Brazil’s Eravio Edson in his quarterfinal bout.

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He will be up against Asian Games gold-medallist Bobo-Usmon Baturov in his last-four-stage bout.

India won three medals at the previous edition of the event (one silver and two bronze).

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