Indian boxer Ashish Chaudhary (75kg) paid for an underwhelming start as his maiden Olympic appearance ended with an opening-round loss to China’s Erbieke Touheta here on Monday. The 27-year-old former Asian silver-medallist went down 0-5 in the bout, which could have been way closer had he turned it up a little bit earlier.
The boxer from Himachal Pradesh was caught on the back-foot in the opening round and lost it unanimously to the busy Chinese, who used his jab to good effect. Ashish raised his game in the second round to give a better account of himself with more attacks but once again, the lack of clear and precise punches hurt his cause as the Chinese excelled in dodging him on most occasions.
“Plan was to wear out the Chinese physically and Ashish tried hard but he didn’t connect well. His punches were going up or landing wide. He got some control only in the third round but it was too late," Indian boxing’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva told PTI.
Ashish went all out in the final three minutes and managed to trouble Touheta despite a cut beneath his left eye. The judges also scored unanimously in his favour but the Chinese had the decisive lead which gave him the victory. “His defence in the first two rounds should have been better. Little mistakes that cost him but the effort was there," Nieva said.
Touheta will next face Brazil’s third-seeded Herbert Sousa, who is a world championships bronze-medallist.
Ashish is the third Indian boxer to bow out of the mega-event after Vikas Krishan (69kg) and Manish Kaushik (63kg) also exited with opening-round losses. On Wednesday, Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) will be the lone Indian boxer in action when she takes on Germany’s Nadine Apetz in the last-16 stage.