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Late on Independence Day, Bantwam Weight contender Akhil Kumar took a giant step towards winning a medal at the Beijing Olympics when he won a controversial close decision against World Champion Sergey Vodopyanov in a four round slugfest.
Akhil lost the first two rounds 2:1 and 4:3, but rallied back to win the next two 2:3 and 1:2 to tie up the match at 9:9. Faced with a split decision the referee awarded the bout to the Indian star who had already raised his hand signifying victory. His Russian opponent was aghast with shock and burst into tears ofÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â despair as he just couldn't believe that the decision went against him.
Akhil, dancing in the ring for much of the match, was a bundle of energy and will need to be wary of over confide nce as he heads into the last eight for a showdown with Veaceslav Gojan. Even though he has beaten the favourite for the title, he is still three wins away from a Gold and will need to watch out for other stars like Badar-Uugan Enkhbat of Mongolia who he could faceÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â as early as the semi-finals.