India’s first super heavyweight (+91kg) boxer to compete in the Olympics, Satish Kumar, eased into the quarterfinals of his debut Games, defeating Jamaica’s Ricardo Brown in his opening bout, on Thursday. In the battle of the debutants, the 32-year-old Satish prevailed 4-1, a comfortable win for him despite the split verdict. The two-time Asian Championships bronze-winner Indian, who has been a multiple-time national champion, was helped by Brown’s poor footwork throughout the bout though he did end up sustaining two cuts — one on his forehead and the other on his chin.
“He got cuts because of three head butts during the bout. But it was a very measured performance by Satish, he could have been in trouble had Brown connected because he was huge and powerful,” Indian boxing’s High Performance Director Santiago Nieva told PTI.
Next up for Satish will face Uzbekistan’s Bakhodir Jalolov, the reigning world and Asian champion. Jalolov out-punched Azerbaijan’s Mahammad Abdullayev 5-0 in his last-16 bout.
“He is not unbeatable. Although Satish has never won against him, the last time they fought in the India Open, it was split verdict. He ran him close,” Nieva said.
Satish, also a 2018 Commonwealth Games silver-medallist, dominated with his right hand and allowed Brown to repeatedly make the mistake of lunging in with very little balance. Brown seemed to be looking for that one big punch that could unsettle the Indian but failed miserably, owing to his inability to move quickly enough after launching into Satish.
The Indian, in comparison, was light on his feet and thereby sharper in responding to Brown’s attacks.
“The idea was to score and pull back because Brown’s power could have been dangerous. Satish did well to tire him out by moving around the ring and it definitely helped that our boy had lighter feet,” Nieva said.
The late bloomer from Uttar Pradesh’s Bulandshahr is an Army man, who used to play kabaddi, and was introduced to the sport owing to his good physique by the Army coaches. The 31-year-old Brown, who is the first boxer from his country to qualify for the Games since 1996, was Jamaica’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony.
He is the co-founder of ‘Sensi Juice’, an organic juice company based in Canada. The juices that are produced by his company are infused with Cannabis. Brown also worked as a chef in Jamaica till 2014.
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