2019 Asian Games silver medallist Deepak Kumar (52kg) had to be content with the silver medal after losing the final face-off in a split decision against two-times European Champion and Bulgaria’s Daniel Asenov in the men's flyweight final bout at the 72nd Strandja Memorial Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria on Saturday.
Deepak, who has been in terrific form as evidenced by his scintillating 4-1 victory against the reigning Olympic champion and World Champion, Shakhobidin Zoirov from Uzbekistan in the semis on Friday fell short in the final against the determined local boy Daniel Asenov, who won the bout 3-2.
Deepak started with a cautious approach and was exposed to some solid punches from his opponent in the first round. The boxer from Hisar looked to improve and up his attack and gave his all in the second round with some decisive punches landing on the opponent’s face. While Deepak showed controlled aggression, despite that Asenov held his ground.
An assertive and steady Deepak though put his all in the final round but the 2019 European Games silver medallist Daniel Asenov landed some clear punches in the dying minutes to win the bout 3-2 in a really close encounter.
Deepak Kumar won the Silver medal at 72nd Strandja Memorial Tournament in Bulgaria on Saturday
“It is disappointing that I could not win the gold but these last few days have been nothing short of a dream come true. I was determined to make a mark in this tournament especially when I got an opportunity to play against a Champion opponent like Shakhobidin Zoirov in the semis. I am very happy that I could come out a winner. Though a lot of work still needs to be done and I will be focusing on it along with my coaches as I go return to India,” Deepak added.
This silver medal is also the 23-year-old Deepak’s maiden medal from this prestigious and Europe’s oldest tournament. He lost here in the first round last year.
Naveen Boora (69kg) was the other Indian to win a medal in the tournament as he ended his campaign with a Bronze medal in his first International outing for India.