Nishant Dev boxes way to Paris 2024

Both boxers caught in the moment. Photo credits (BFI) 

Nishant Dev brought massive cheer to India as he punched his way to an Olympic quota place for India in the 71kg weight category against Vasile Cebotari of Moldova at the Paris 2024 Olympic qualifier in Bangkok on Friday. 

Nishant has been in sublime form for the last three days. And in the most important bout of his life and a hugely significant one for India, he showed punch and poise on Friday afternoon. He had reach and the right footwork to keep going through all three rounds.

Cebotari was not at his best. That was mainly because the Indian was using his best combination of skills and brawn. Nishant landed punches at will on the Moldovan, and had the crowd also rooting for him in Bangkok, while many others watched the bout virtually.

Nishant has shown that Indian men’s boxing is not dead. This was the first quota for India in the men’s section, after three women had earlier qualified for Paris. For Nishant, the key on Friday was not to be passive and he took off against Cebotari. He won on points and punched his ticket to Paris.

The computerised scoring system is fair and even the commentators were all praise for the tall Nishant. The 23-year-old had won a bronze in the World Boxing event in Tashkent last year.

On a day when the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) signed up with World Boxing, a move seen as positive in the long run, Nishant sealing a quota place was brilliant. There has been negativity for long, but with coach CA Kuttappa and Dmitry Dmitruk, the foreign coach, working in tandem with India’s male and female boxers, the results were there to see on Friday.

Photo credits (BFI)


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