Mary Kom storms into Boxing Championships final
Stays on track for historic 6th gold
M.C. Mary Kom, the five-time world champion stormed into the final of the 48 kilogram light flyweight category after trouncing North Korean storms into Boxing Championships final 5:0 by undisputed verdict in the AIBA Women’s World Championships at the packed K.D.Jadhav Indoor Stadium here on Thursday.
However, the 21-year-old Lovlina Borgohain had to settle for the bronze as she made way out of the championships, losing her 69 kg semi-final bout to the experienced Chen Nien-Chin of Taiwan in a split verdict (0:4). Though the Indian managed to win a point, it was docked because of the warning of the referee.
But it was the seasoned Manipuri pugilist Mary Kom’s semi-final bout that attracted a full packed audience, chanting ‘Mary, Mary’ and reverberating the paced K.D.Jhadav hall.
The 35-year-old is gunning for a record sixth World title after having previously clinched the gold medal on five occasions — 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 — besides bagging a silver on her debut in 2001.The unanimous verdict in the light flyweight semi-final over her Kim yet again proved the Indian’s superiority in the 48 kg category.
Mary, who is still tied with Katie Taylor of Ireland on five gold medals, has an opportunity to become the most successful woman boxer if she beats Ukraine’s Hanna Okhota in the final on Saturday.
Thursday’s semi-final bout got off with a rousing welcome for the seasoned Indian boxer, as Mary started with swift movements and successfully negated the height advantage of her rival.
Even as the North Korean came back aggressively in the second round, Mary was quick enough to reserve her punches before coming up with a right arm jab to tame her opponent.
In the third and final round, Kim tried using her height and long reach but Mary used all her experience to thwart any challenge. The last 20 seconds saw the Indian piling on her rival with another set of barrage for the 5:0 decisions..
Meanwhile, another Northeast boxer Lovlina, lacking in experience, managed to open up with a left jab and land a few combination blows in the first but Taiwan’s Chen Nien-Chin showed better aggression despite the Indian maintaining a distance.
Definitely, the former world junior and Youth Olympics (Nanjing) champion had the better exchanges of blows than the 21-year-old Assam girl.
.On Friday, two other Indians — Sonia Chahal and Simranjit Kaur — take to the rings for their semifinal bouts in 57 kg and 64 kg.
Sonia meets Jo Son Hwa of North Korea while Smiranjit will box with Duo Dan of China.
Sanjay M Bhaire
(The author is Editor-In-Chief, Across State-Across Mumbai News)
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