Indian pugilist Mary Kom finished her campaign with a silver medal at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships after going down fighting against the two-time world champion Nazym Kyzaibay in a high-octane 51kg final in Dubai on Sunday.
Both the boxers started the summit clash with aggressive mindset and soon exchanged powerful blows attempting to unsettle each other. The five-time Asian Championships gold medallist Mary Kom used all her experience against the Kazakh boxer and made her work hard but it wasn't enough as the later tilted the hard-fought game successfully in her favour and emerged champion with a narrow 29-28, 28-29, 30-27, 29-28, 28-29 scoreline.
It is the second silver for Mary Kom at the Asian Championships who has previously won titles on five occasion—2003, 2005, 2010, 2012 and 2017 besides silver in 2008.
Later three more Indian boxers—Pooja Rani (75kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg) and Anupama (+81)—will be seen in action in the women finals on Sunday at the on-going prestigious Championships, which is jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation, the 19-member Indian contingent claimed their best-ever show by securing record 15 medals while surpassing their previous highest of 13 medals (2 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze) from the 2019 edition in Bangkok.
The defending champion Amit Panghal (52kg) and two other pugilists Shiva Thapa (64kg) and Sanjeet (91kg) will be seen in action on Monday in the men's finals. The International Boxing Association (AIBA) has allocated USD 4,00,000 prize money for this Championships. The gold medallists of men's and women's categories will be awarded with USD 10,000 while both the silver and bronze medal winners will take home USD 5,000 and 2,500 respectively.
Panghal will be up against the Rio Olympics and world champion Uzbek pugilist Zoirov Shakhobidin of Uzbekistan. While Assam boxer Thapa will be challenged by the Asian Games silver medallist Mongolia's Baatarsukh Chinzorig. Second seeded Sanjeet will also have a strong challenge of the Rio Olympics silver medallist Vassiliy Levit, who is chasing his fourth gold medal of the Asian Championships.
Eight Indian pugilists Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Jaismine (57kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (64kg), Monika (48kg), Saweety (81kg) and Varinder Singh (60kg) secured bronze medals with their semi-final finish at the event which witnessed the presence of 150 boxers from 17 countries including strong boxing nations such as India, Uzbekistan, Philippines and Kazakhstan.