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Guwahati: Six-time world champion Mary Kom and Asian Championships bronze medallist Nikhat Zareen set up a blockbuster semi-final showdown in 51kg after confirming medals at the second edition of the India Open International Boxing Tournament at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi AC Indoor Stadium here in Assam on Tuesday.
Nepal’s Mala Rai was no match for the London Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom who wasted no time in progressing into the last-four with a commanding 5-0 win. Strandja Cup gold medallist Nikhat too was equally impressive with her flurry of punches against compatriot Anamika and registered a comfortable 5-0 victory. Strandja Cup silver medallist Manju Rani kept attacking her opponent, Cleo Claveras Tesara of Philippines right from the start to earn a win by RSC (Referee Stop Contest) in Round 1 to move into the 48kg semi-finals. Monika was equally dominant in her quarter-final bout with Thailand’s Apaporn Intongsee to earn a 5-0 win. Kalavani was deemed the winner by RSC in Round 2 over Bhutan’s Tandin Lhamo while Nitu did not enjoy the same fortunes and was blanked 0-5 by former world champion Josie Gabuco of Philippines.
Manju Rani, Monika and Kalavani also entered the 48kg semi-finals to confirm five medals for India on the second day of India’s premier boxing tournament and bring India’s total medal tally to 15.
On the men’s side, Brijesh Yadav and Sanjay are already into the 81kg semi-finals and so are Naman Tanwar and Sanjeet in 91kg and Satish Kumar and Atul Thakur in +91kg. In women’s, Lovlina Borgohain and and Anjali are already assured of medals in 69kg while Bhagyabati Kachari and Saweety Boora are through to the last-four in 75kg by virtue of a first round bye. Earlier in the day, four Indian men pugilists made it to the quarter-finals. Pawan Kumar made short work of reigning Youth Olympic champion Brian Agustin Arregui of Argentina 4-1 for a place in the 69kg quarter-finals. Promising Indian boxer Dinesh Dagar, who upset 2012 London Olympic bronze medallist at the GeeBee Boxing tournament recently, continued his fine form to notch up a hard-fought 3-2 victory over Marjon Angcon Pianar of Philippines in the 69kg. In 60kg, Ankit proved too strong for Ryan Boy Empoc Moreno of Philippines whom he blanked 5-0. In 75kg, Manjeet Panghal got a walkover into the last-eight while Ashish lost 0-5 to Colin Louis Richarno.
10 Indian boxers had already confirmed medals even before the start of the event with 6 in men and 4 in women being placed in the semi-finals because of the smaller size of the draw.