India's male boxers will return empty-handed from the Olympics after last man in fray Devendro
Singh (49kg) lost in the quarterfinals despite putting on a gallant fight against Ireland's Paddy Barnes in a contest marred by debatable refereeing at the Excel Arena here.
The 20-year-old fought his heart out last night but could not prevail over his stronger opponent who scripted a 23-18 victory to romp into the semifinals.
But the high-scoring result left the Indian contingent fuming as they claimed that the refereeing had gone heavily against the diminutive Manipuri who was warned once in the second round for head-butting his opponent.
With Devendro's exit, the Indian challenge in the boxing ring came to an end with only M C Mary Kom providing the spark with a historic bronze medal in women's boxing which was introduced in the Olympics for the first time.
Seven male boxers were in fray here, including 2008 Games bronze-medallist Vijender Singh (75kg), who also lost in the quarterfinals.
Backed by the packed arena, Barnes took an early lead by winning the first round 7-5 and maintained the tempo right through to send Devendro packing from of his debut Olympics much to the disappointment of the Indian fans.
Both the boxers started the contest aggressively unleashing a flurry of punches at each other but the Irish pugilist relied on his experience to gain the upperhand.
Trailing by two points, Devendro continued to be aggressive but a warning gave his opponent a bigger lead by the end of the second round which ended 10-5.
The third and final round saw both the boxers going all out and Devendro desperately tried to regain lost ground. Barnes, who had eked out a comfortable lead by then, was warned in the third round.
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