Indian boxer Satish Kumar lost to Bakhodir Jalolov of Uzbekistan in the quarter-final of his men’s super heavyweight (+91kg) category which ended his Tokyo 2020 Olympics journey.
It has been 13 years since Vijender Singh made history in the Beijing Olympics, becoming the only Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal at the Summer Games. And as things stand, the wait continues as even the world no. 1 in the men's flyweight category, Amit Panghal is out of the competition.
As for Satish, it was always going to be an uphill battle against Jalolov, who is the top-ranked boxer in the men’s super heavyweight category. Apart from facing a world champion, Satish was also struggling with multiple wounds. He entered the ring with multiple stitches on his forehead and chin. One of his wounds unexpectedly got opened and needed assistance during the match.
Nevertheless, the Indian pugilist kept his head held high and earned the respect of his fellow boxer.
Bakhodir Jalolov dominated the match right from the beginning. He was helped by his towering physique and better reach. Satish, on the other hand, did manage to put in some punches in the first round, but his attacking intent backfired as he gave Jalolov enough opening for a counter. The boxer from Uzbekistan won the first round by a unanimous 5-0 decision.
The second round had a similar story. Satish showed little intent of going on the back foot and Jalolov was on hand to capitalize on the given opportunity. After another unanimous win, Jalolov knew what he had to do. He controlled the final round at his will, dancing around the ring and not giving enough room for Satish to attack. The Uzbek knew he had the match in his kitty and he didn’t let his Indian opponent come anywhere near him.
Jalolov connected a stern jab towards the end and that was it. It was the final nail in the coffin. Satish showed grit but that just wasn’t enough to beat the reigning world champion.
The Uzbekistan pugilist, who won his maiden Olympic Games medal by securing a place in the semi-final, acknowledged his opponent at the end. As for Satish, he anyway created history by making it to the quarter-finals. He is the first Indian super heavyweight to qualify for the quadrennial event.
Featured photo: SAI