Nishant Dev Becomes First Indian Male Boxer to Secure Paris Olympics Quota

Nishant Dev

Bangkok – Nishant Dev, representing the 71kg weight category, has created the historical record of the first-ever male boxer from India to book his place in the Paris 2024 Olympics. 

This great quota was achieved based on the victory in the quarterfinal bouts held on Friday, where Dev made it into the semifinals of the Boxing Olympic qualifiers by beating the Moldovian boxer Vasile Cebotari, by a 5-0 decision. 

The World Championships bronze medalist had competed in the previous Olympic qualification rounds and had missed an Olympic chance by a whisker; however, in Bangkok, he proved that he deserved a chance and more. 

This fight against the southpaw Cebotari clearly demonstrated Dev’s tactical knowledge and strict following of the tactics that one is supposed to take against an opponent of the same hand orientation. 

Nishant Dev

Dev, who has been brilliant right through the championship, began in an attacking fashion and connected with neat and furious punches that put his rival on the back foot. 

It should, however, be noted that for a while in the second round, Cebotari was able to get in a couple of punches against Dev, but thereafter, the latter was once again composed and continued to land correct punches. 

The last round was the most exhausting one, and both fighters looked rather tired, but Dev did not lose focus. His increased punching rate and strategy to dominate the game ultimately led him to win the match with a clear point, while Cebotari was given a point deduction for an illegitimate punch to Dev’s head while he was down. 

India has now ensured four boxing quotas for the Paris Olympics, and female boxers Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Preet Pawar (54kg), and Lovlina Borgohain have already punched their ticket. The 71kg had five quotas, but sadly, there were five competitors vying for the position, so Dev grabbed one of the quotas with fantastic performance. 

In other fights, expectations of a medal in the women’s 60kg category were brought to a halt after Inkushita Boro lost to Sweden’s Agnes Alexiusson. Boro, who was a youth world champion, was not ranked number 1Borooro gave his best and nearly won but lost by 2-3. Alexiusson, who has the background as a European Games bronze medalist, gave her a great advantage in the match.

In the match, Boro displayed potential, especially in the second round, in which her combination of left jab and right cross was especially effective on Alexiusson. On the other hand Boro, who started the first round with the same strength as that of the Swedish boxer, was unable to match her, thus leading to the split decision in the Swedish boxer’s favor. 

The day’s events also included the schedule for the upcoming bout for Arundhati Choudhary of the 66kg category and Amit Panghal of 51kg, accentuating the vibe for more Indian boxers to earn their berths at the Olympics. 

Nishant Dev’s victory is not only evidence of personal effort and endeavor but also a matter of pride as Indian boxing stands victorious on the global platform for Olympics lovers, encouraging other Indian boxing aspirants who want to achieve the Olympic dream.