Hamburg: Amit Phangal and Gaurav Bidhuri gave India a good start by advancing to the pre-quarterfinals of their respective weight categories at the 19th World Boxing Championships here. Amit got the better of Italy's Federico Serra in a split verdict to enter the second round of the men's 49 kg category on Friday night. Gaurav defeated World Youth Championships bronze medallist and Oceania champion Sam Goodman of Australia in the 56kg category. Both Amit and Gaurav are making their first appearance at the senior World Championships.
Amit will now take on seventh seed Carlos Quipo of Ecuador, who was awarded a bye in the first round. The Asian bronze-medallist recovered from a slow start in the first round and produced a much better performance in the second and third rounds to win by a split decision. Gaurav was aggressive right from the start of his bout forced Goodman on to the backfoot. His power packed performance saw him win the bout by unanimous decision. The Delhi boxer will face African champion Jean-Jordy Vadamootoo of Mauritious in the second round. The sixth-seeded Vadamootoo was awarded a bye in the first round. This year's World Championships has close to 250 boxers vying for top honours. India have sent an eight-member contingent -- their biggest ever -- to the mega event. Most of the Indian boxers made the cut through the Asian Championships held in Tashkent earlier this year. Gaurav had however, had failed to qualify initially as he had lost in the quarter-finals of the Asian Championships. But he was later awarded a wild card entry by the Asian Boxing Confederation.