Indian boxer Manoj Kumar advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of the Men’s Light Welter (64kg) event after knocking down Lithuania’s former lightweight Olympic bronze-medallist Evaldas Petrauskas 2-1 here on Thursday.
The 29-year-old, who hails from Haryana’s Kaithal district, outclassed 24-year-old Evaldas 29-28, 29-28, 28-29 in three rounds of the thrilling preliminary bout.
With the win, Manoj has now set up a clash against Fazliddin Gaibnazarov of Uzbekistan for a place in the quarter-finals.
Manoj, who is one of the three Indian boxers who have made it to the Rio Olympics, had qualified for the Games after winning his quarterfinal bout against Tajikistan’s Rakhimov Shakvakatdzhon 3-0 in the AIBA World Olympic qualification event in Baku, Azerbaijan.
Earlier, Vikas Krishnan, the 2014 Asian Games Bronze medallist, also progressed through to the pre-quarters of the men’s middleweight 75kg category after beating USA’s Charles Conwel 3-0.
Meanwhile, the Indian squad’s youngest boxer Shiva Thapa (56kg), a World Championships bronze-medallist, will square off against Cuba’s Robeisy Ramirez later today.