Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Gaurav Solanki (57kg) advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of the Asian Olympic Qualifiers for boxing with a dominating triumph over Kyrgyzstan’s Akylbek Esenbek Uulu in the opening round in Amman on Tuesday.
Solanki, whose CWG gold was in the 52kg division, prevailed 5-0 against the two-time Kyrgyz national champion to enter the last-16 stage where he will be up against top-seeded Uzbek Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov, who got a bye into the second round.
Mirzakhalilov is the reigning world champion in this weight category besides being a gold-medallist at the 2018 Asian Games as well as the Asian Championships.
Solanki dominated from the word go, helped by Uulu’s poor defence. The Indian was relentless and accurate in his attacks, scoring mostly through clean straight punches.
Advancing to the semifinals in this event would assure boxers of a spot in the Tokyo Olympics scheduled later this year.