In the 2021 edition of the Asian Boxing Championship, 6-time world champion Mary Kom had to settle on a silver medal while Pooja Rani bagged the Gold, making it her second Gold in Asian Boxing Championship. With these results, the contingent of Indian women boxer closed their campaign with 10 total medals.
Pooja Rani Bags Gold; Defeats Mavluda Movlonova 5-0
On Sunday, May 30, Defending Asian Boxing Champion Pooja Rani successfully defended her title and bagged the gold by defeating Uzbekistan’s Mavluda Movlonova. Already selected for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, Rani earned the prize money of $10,000 by dismantling the Uzbekistani opponent after she was given a walkover in the semi-final.
Her opponent never seemed to be in the right place and Pooja capitalized on that. She secured the first Gold in this edition after defeating Monolova 5-0. This was her second Asian Boxing Championship gold after 2019 when she won her first ever Asian Boxing gold in the 81-kg category. However, due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, she was forced to not continue on his rich form as the tournament did not take place.
Rani has been a consistent performer at the Asian Boxing tournaments, bagging a Silver in 2012 and a Bronze in 2015 in the middleweight events.
Boxing Legend Mary Kom bouts with opponent 11-years younger
Prior to Rani’s result, it was Indian boxing star and 6-time World Champion Mary Kom who lost her final and had to settle for a Silver. Mary Kom lost to Nazym Kyzaibay an opponent 11 years younger. Kom started the battle with an impressive bout and won the first round with ease thanks to her counter-attacks and strong defence.
In the second round, both the players upped the ante but it was her Kazakh opponent that got better of her and drew the round 1-1. In the final bout, Kom looked to be at her best, counter-attacking and throwing jabs when her opponent’s guard was down. However, the game changed in the final few minutes as Kyzaibay’s punches were cleaner and won the judge’s approval.
The Kazakh female boxer won the gold and the prize money of $10,000. It should be noted that Kyzaibay is also a fierce opponent, a 6-time national champion and the winner of 2 world championships. Mary Kom’s silver was her 7th medal in the Asian Boxing Championship. She received the first gold in the 2003 edition of the game and since then has won 5 golds, and 2 silvers.
Asian Boxing Championship 2021: Best of Female Wrestlers
The 2021 edition of the Asian Boxing Championship was the best ever display of female boxers and their talent. The contingent has won 15 medals this year and surpassed the previous record of 13 Medals (2 Gold, 4 Silver, and 7 Bronze). This year, the tournament debutants Anupama and Lalbuatsaihi won silver in the 64kg and 81 kg category.
Lalbuatsaihi suffers narrow defeat, Takes home silver
Lalbuatsaihi suffered a narrow loss against Kazakh aggressive boxer Milana Safronova 2-3 (split decision) and won the silver. The 64 kg boxer from Mizoram tired her opponent out by counter-attacking the jabs and punches, however, the steam blew off in the final round and she lost the game. She was the replacement of Pwilao Basumatary, India’s veteran boxer who had to watch the games sitting on the sidelines as her passport was expired.
Anupama gives world-champion fight to remember
Meanwhile, Anupama (81kg+) was the last boxer from the Indian side and she was paired against Kazakhstan’s Lazzat Kungeibayeva. The former world-champion gave her Indian rival a tough fight and to no one’s surprise, Anupama withstood the passive-aggressive holds and clinches. Till the final bout the score was leveled 2-2, however, in the end it was Kungeibayeva who cleaned the slate and won the game 3-2.
Asian Boxing Championship 2021: The story so far and what’s next?
Earlier in the tournament bronze medals were bagged by 8 Indian boxers: Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Jaismine (57kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (64kg), Monika (48kg), Saweety (81kg), and Varinder Singh (60kg).
On Monday, May 31, Men’s finals will see Amit Panghal, Shiva Thapa and Sanjeet fight it out at their respective weight categories. The most interesting bout among them will be Panghal vs Shakhobidin Zoirov, who is the current world champion. The last time these two battled it out was in final of 2019 world championship in which India lost and had to settle for a silver.