Good Start For Indian Boxers At International Tournament

India Open International Boxing tournament - Sakshi Post

New Delhi: Indians began the India Open International Boxing tournament on a promising note, with five-time world champion Mary Kom and Commonwealth Games champion Manoj Kumar leading the countrys charge into the next round.

Mary Kom impressed in her bout against Varsha Choudhary in the women's light flyweight (48 kilograms) category, beating her by a unanimous verdict. Varsha, however, put up a good fight despite taking a number of blows.

Mary Kom had to use all her technical nous to score the win. Olympian Manoj overcame Kenya's Kimathi Jacob in the men's welterweight (69kg) division. The Indian began on a cautious note, trying to asses his opponent. He landed only a few blows in the first two rounds. He opened up in the final round, picking up all his points and winning with ease.

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Among the foreign stars, the Philippines' Josie Gabuco (women's light flyweight), Finland's Marjut Potkonan ( women's lightweight), Thailand's Bunjong Sinsiri (men's light welterweight) and Mongolia's Erdene Urachimeg (men's flyweight) showed their class as they stormed into the next round.

Earlier, rising Indian star Nikhat Zareen, bronze medallist at the recently held Senior Women's Nationals at Rohtak, provided the first upset, beating compatriot and fourth seeded Neeraj in the women's flyweight category.

Nikhat showed more aggression and threw in a flurry of combinations to take charge of the bout. Neeraj fought back, attacking Nikhat's jaw and midriff but with lesser success than desired. Nikhat used the square well, exploiting the openings in Neeraj's defence to launch a series of punches that won her the day and a split points decision 3-2. Pinki Rani too impressed during her fight against Meenakshi, in another all-Indian women's flyweight clash.

She was compact and had power in her mits as she ducked, weaved and exploded with power. She threw her jabs, hooks and straight rights with clinical precision to outclass her opponent. Though Meenakshi proved to be a game fighter, she fell short of matching her more accomplished opponent to go down 1-4 on points.

Sanjeet, the first Indian to take to the ring in the men's section, appeared to have met a strong opponent in Kazakhstan's Rakhmanov Ongtalap. The strapping orthodox Kazakh pugilist had power in his gloves and threatened to pound Sanjeet into submission in the men's heavyweight (91kg) bout.

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However, the opening flurry was just a flash in the pan, as the Indian recovered from the early surprise, and rocked the Kazakh with his long reach and power-packed punches. His successive punches and jabs to the head and face, all through the bout, gave him a convincing 4-1 victory.

Cameroon's Clotilde Essaine packed too many guns for Panama's Bylon Theyna to log a fluent 4-1 points win in the women's middleweight category. Kenya's Andiego Elizabeth Edhiam surprised powerhouse Mongolia's Munkhbat Myagmarjargal in another women's middleweight bout. (IANS)

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