Light-welterweight Tom Stalker is the British male boxer through to the Olympic quarter-finals after thrashing India’s Manoj Kumar in his opening session. Stalker, who received a first-round bye, showed signs of ring rust in a stifling encounter. After a fast start, the GB team captain exhausted frighteningly but held on to clinch the decision 20-16. Belfast’s Paddy Barnes reached the last eight of the light-flyweight competition.
Stalker, 28, beat Kumar in the quarter-finals of last year’s World Championships. And the Liverpudlian, obviously fired up having spent the last week on the sidelines, came charging out of the blocks, taking the first round 7-4. However, the second round could have gone either way, with Stalker playing into Kumar’s hands and the Indian having plenty of success from close range. But Stalker carried a seven-point lead into the final round and, although he looked very weary indeed when the final bell sounded, he held on for the win.
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