MC Mary Kom cruised into the India Open boxing final
Veteran Manipuri beats Nikhat Zareen to enter final; Sachin Siwach stuns Gaurav Solanki, while Bidhuri settles for bronze at India Open boxing
London Olympic bronze medallist MC Mary Kom cruised into the final and inched closer to her second India Open boxing gold here yesterday. Mary Kom put up a flamboyant display to resist an aggressive Nikhat Zareen. She took time to settle into the much-awaited bout as Zareen was the early aggressor.
It was in the final round that the Olympian found her stride and punched her way with the split verdict of 4-1 to set up a final showdown with Vanlal Duati, who registered a 3-2 win over Jyoti. "Nikhat is normally a boxer who doesn't like to come inside much and I am more of a counter boxer, so I used that to my advantage," said the Manipuri great.
Solanki v Panghal final
Meanwhile, former World Youth champion Sachin Siwach (52kg) produced a major upset yesterday as he edged past 2018 CWG Gold medallist Gaurav Solanki with a 5-0 win to storm into the final. Sachin displayed his high confidence through his fiery flurry of punches against the accomplished Solanki to set up a final showdown with Amit Panghal, who won gold at the Asian Championships as well as the Strandja Cup this year.
Sachin hopes to change the colour of his medal to gold in his first meeting with Panghal. "Amit has improved a lot of late but this is my big chance to show my prowess at a major competition at the senior level. This will be my first meeting with Amit in any competitive event and I hope to give my best to win."
Thapa has it easy
Four-time Asian Championships medallist Shiva Thapa (60kg) was the other gold medal hope who faced no hassles to enter the final. Thapa was unstoppable with his new aggressive style and took no time to assert his supremacy over Poland's D Krystian Sczepanski in his 5-0 demolition.
Assam boy Thapa faces defending 60kg champion Manish Kaushik, who thumped Ankit 5-0 in his semi-final. Former World Championships bronze medallist Gaurav Bidhuri lost out on a place in the final. He was defeated 0-5 by Thailand's Chatchai Decha Butdee and had to settle for bronze.
Luck was in favour of Asian Championships silver medallist Deepak (49kg) who did not even have to enter the ring to confirm his final berth as he got a walkover from Philippines's Carolo Cano Paalam. Kavinder Singh Bisht remained in the hunt for the 56kg gold following a tight 4-1 win over compatriot Madan Lal. Ashish Kumar (75kg) edged out Thailand's Aphisit Khankhokkruea 4-1. He will meet Philippines's Eumir Felix Delos Santos, who knocked out Manjeet Panghal.
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