Sports

Asian boxing: Seven Indian pugilists on the last two days in a row for gold

Kolkata: Six-time world champion Mary Kom and defending champion Amit Panghal boosted their build-up to the Tokyo Olympics by being among the seven Indian pugilists to make it to the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championship final in Dubai combat. While Mary Kom, along with Pooja Rani (75 kg), Anupama (+ 81 kg) and Lalbuatsahi (64 kg) will play their respective finals on Sunday after a rest day, Panghal, Shiva Thapa (64 kg) and Sanjeet (91 kg) will be in action. Monday. Aiming to secure the sixth gold medal in just seven appearances, British bronze medalist Mary Kom, London 2012, will face a tough challenge from two-time world champion Kazakh boxer Nazym Kyzaibay in the 51kg final. Olympic Pooja Rani, who got a run in the semi-finals, will face Mavluda Movlonova of Uzbekistan, who finished the challenge of medal winner Marina Volnova in London, in the last four innings. It will also not be easy for Lalbuatsaihi and Anupama, and will also face strong Kazakh boxers in their respective finals.

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In the men’s division, Panghal will want to defend his title when he competes against the Olympic Games in Rio and the world champion, the Uzbek pugilis Zoirov Shakhobidin from Uzbekistan, in the gold medal match. Thapa, who was impressive and collectively the most successful male boxer in the history of the championship with five consecutive medals, will be challenged by Asian Games silver medalist Mongolian Baatarsukh Chinzorig. The second-seeded Sanjeet will battle Rio silver medalist Vassiliy Levit, who is chasing his fourth gold medal at the Asian Championships. Eight Indian pugilists: Simranjit Kaur (60 kg), Vikas Krishan (69 kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69 kg), Jaismine (57 kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (64 kg), Monika (48 kg), Saweety (81 kg) and Varinder Singh (60 kg) secured bronze. medals with their semi-finals during the event which witnessed the presence of 150 boxers from 17 countries.