Pooja Rani wins gold, Mary Kom loses in final at Asian Boxing Championships
- Defending champion Pooja Rani put up a dominating show to beat Mavluda Movlonova of Uzbekistan and retain the 75kg title in the Asian boxing championships in Dubai on Sunday.
Defending champion Pooja Rani put up a dominating show to beat Mavluda Movlonova of Uzbekistan and retain the 75kg title in the Asian boxing championships in Dubai on Sunday.
Tokyo Olympics-bound Rani attacked from the start and by the end of the third round her opponent was reeling under the barrage of punches. She won 5-0. Rani received a walk-over against Mongolia’s Myagmarjargal Munkhbat in the semi-final.
It was the fourth medal, and second gold, in the continental meet for the boxer hailing from the sports hub of Bhiwani, Haryana.
The Indian started strongly, her combination of punches and quick feet rattling Movlonova. The Uzbek tried to fight back at the start of the third round, but Rani stepped up her attack, winning by a unanimous decision.
MC Mary Kom, 38, though came up short against twice world champion Nazym Kyzaibay of Kazakhstan, losing 2-3 on points. The six-time world champion gave it her all in the 51kg final but Kyzaibay, tall, strong and 11 years younger, landed powerful blows in the second and third rounds.
It was Kom’s second competition in the run-up to the July 23-August 8 Olympics since returning to action in January after a year, following the lockdown. Tokyo will be the second Games for the London 2012 bronze medallist.
In the semi-final, Kom defeated Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg of Mongolia 4-1. The final though was tough for the five-time Asian gold medallist. She showed early attacking intent but Kyzaibay was soon calling the shots with her good reach and movement.
The Kazakh mixed head and body punches to leave the slender Mary to pin her hopes on counter-punches. As the bout progressed Kyzaibay grew in confidence and controlled the proceedings even as Kom tried to break the shackles, trying to move in and throw straight punches. Kyzaibay did enough to edge past.
Lalbuatsaihi (64kg) lost 2-3 to Kazakh Milana Safronava in the final.
The other two Tokyo-bound women boxers, Simranjit Kaur (60kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), finished with bronze medals after losing in the semis. Jaismine (57kg) and Sakshi Chaudhary (54kg) also won bronze.