New Delhi: Five-time world champion MC Mary Kom (49kg) advanced to the final but it was end for both Shiva Thapa (60kg) and Manoj Kumar who had to settle for bronze medals after shock defeats in the semi-finals of the $100,000 Indian Open Boxing Tournament.
Mary who was seeded 12th, had no difficulties in upstaging the gritty Mongolian Altansetseg Lutsaikhan. She did seem drained out in the final round but had done enough in the first two to progress. The 2014 Asian Games gold-medallist was at her destructive best in the first two rounds, landing some crucial blows on her opponent.
She will next face Josie Gabuco of Philippines who put up a dominating performance over local favourite Monika.
Shiva Thapa’s sudden loss was a major upset. The World Championships bronze-medallist who faced compatriot Manish Kaushik in the semis was expected by many to win the bout. He however had to remain content with a bronze after going down by an unanimous verdict.
The fight was intense between both the Indian nationals but Kaushik got the nod ahead because of his accuracy making it two victories in two bouts over Thapa for the boxer from Bhiwani.
Similarly, former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manoj Kumar (69kg) also bowed out of the competition after going down to compatriot Dinesh by a split verdict. It was a fiercely fought battle between the two but Dinesh eventually came out victorious.
Asian silver-medallist Sumit Sangwan (91kg) however was forced to give a walkover in the finals following the cut he sustained during his victorious semi-final bout. But King’s Cup gold-medallist K Shyam Kumar (49kg) and Asian Games bronze-medallist Satish Kumar (+91kg) made the finals.
In the women’s category, top-seed L Sarita Devi (60kg) and Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Pinki Jangra (51kg) both entered the finals but Sarjubala Devi (51kg) and Sashi Chopra (57kg) were knocked out in the semi-finals.
While Sarita edged out compatriot Priyanka in an evenly fought battle to set up a summit clash against Finland’s Olympics and world bronze-medallist Mira Potkonene, Jangra defeated Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat to enter the final.
It was however curtains for world silver-medallist Sarjubala Devi who went down 3-2 to Mongolian Jargalan Ochirbat. Meanwhile Sashi lost out to countrymate Sonia in a bizzare manner after both were warned by the referee for being over defensive. Sonia was later declared the winner by an unanimous verdict and will take on Filipino Nesthy Petecio, who upstaged Christian Marwam Jembay of Indonesia.
Among the other fancied names who had to stay content with a bronze was National Champion Simranjit Kaur (64kg). The second seeded boxer was beaten by Thailand’s Sudaporn Seesondee in the semis.