Gaurav Bidhuri put up a valiant effort against American boxer Duke Ragan but was ultimately defeated in the bantamweight semifinal bout. It was a 5-0 unanimous decision in favour of the American and Bidhuri became the 4th Indian wrestler to won a bronze medal.
“The American boxer was really good, I must give him credit for that. He studied my game very well and although he is usually an aggressive boxer, he used his defensive technique well from the second round onwards. My game is based on aggression and I kept moving forward to land my punches but I walked into a few of his jabs,” said Bidhuri.
In the first round, both pugilists were an equal match for each other and traded blows. But when the second round began, Duke upped the ante and used the entire ring to his advantage. Ragan comfortable took the second round while Bidhuri was clearly getting flustered. “I thought it was a quite an even contest. I thought they could have gone with a split decision. I am disappointed with the result. I desperately wanted to become the first Indian to reach the World championships final,” said the 24-year old Indian “I was really surprised by the way he completely changed his game. We had analysed his previous bouts and wins over Cuban and Chinese boxers, but he was much more subdued against me which caught me off guard. I also got a bad headbutt in the first round and blacked out for a few seconds, which distracted me for some time at the start of the second round,”
In the final round, Bidhuri was left struggling to close the big lead that Ragan had built.