Fast-rising Indian boxer Deepak Bhoria fashioned a brilliant comeback to stun Tokyo Olympic bronze medallist Saken Bibossinov of Kazakhstan and advance to the the 51kg pre-quarterfinals of the World Championships here on Sunday.
Trailing by a split verdict in the opening two rounds Deepak, who was selected ahead of World Championship silver medallist Amit Panghal, put up a stellar display in the last three minutes to emerge winner after a bout review.
The Indian eventually won 5-2 against the 2021 World Champion Bibossinov to reach the pre-quarterfinals. Two-time Commonwealth medallist Mohammed Hussamuddin (57kg) also registered a facile 5-0 victory over Russia's Eduard Savvin to advance to the quarterfinals.
Deepak started the bout slowly and took some time to get into the rhythm but Bibossinov used it to his advantage and landed some punches on his opponent. The Indian boxer ended the first round strongly and hit his opponent with a flurry of punches but lost by 2-3.
After losing the second round, Deepak picked up the pace and moved around swiftly in the third round, while hitting his opponent with some hard blows. He evaded the Kazakh boxer's punches consistently and impressed the judges to win the bout.
Deepak will face Zhang Jiamao of China in his next bout and will look to register another big win in the tournament.
"My target was to play with patience since the start of the bout and gather as many points as I can. The first two rounds were tough but I was focused on not losing my patience and waiting for the right moment to attack," Deepak said after a memorable win.
"Coaches had told me to lure my opponent with the right punch before using my left hook to good effect. It worked as I connect a lot of left hooks to get points. Every bout is important for me and I play every match like it's a final match for me," he added.
On the other hand, Hussamuddin dominated his bout from the start and never gave his opponent a chance of a comeback. Hussamuddin was quicker than his Russian opponent in the second round as well. In the third round, he kept on counter-punching smartly to register a unanimous decision win.
He will go up against Bulgaria's Javier Diaz Ibanez in the quarterfinals.