At the Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai, defending champion Pooja Rani won the gold medal in the 75kg Women’s category while legendary pugilist MC Mary Kom, Lalbuatsaihi and Anupama finished with silver.
Tokyo Olympics-bound Pooja defeated Mavluda Movlonova of Uzbekistan 5-0 and secured India’s first gold medal at the ongoing event. She had also won the gold medal in the previous edition in 2019 but that was in the 81kg division.
Earlier, six-time world champion Mary Kom crashed to a narrow split-decision defeat 2-3 against two-time world champion Kazakhstan’s Nazym Kyzaibay in the final of the 51kg category.
Tournament debutant Lalbuatsaihi also settled for silver medal after losing a hard-fought women’s 64kg final against Kazakhstan’s Milana Safronova via split decision 2-3. Anupama also bagged a silver medal after losing to Kazakhstan’s Lazzat Kungeibayeva in the Women’s Heavy 81kg final.
Today, Indian male boxers Amit Panghal, Shiva Thapa and Sanjeet will fight it out in the finals.
The defending champion Panghal will be up against the Rio Olympics and world champion Uzbek pugilist Zoirov Shakhobidin of Uzbekistan in the 52kg final. While Assam boxer Thapa will be challenged by the Asian Games silver medallist Mongolia’s Baatarsukh Chinzorig in the 64kg final.
Second-seeded Sanjeet will also have a strong challenge of Vassiliy Levit, who is chasing his fourth gold medal of the Asian Championships in the 91kg final bout.
Indian contingent has already ensured their best-ever show at the Asian Championships by assuring 15 medals so far and bettered the previous highest of 13 medals achieved in the 2019 edition.