Shiva Thapa settled for bronze as he went down in semi-finals to Battumur Misheelt while Sonia Lather and Mandeep Jangra will fight for gold in Ulaanbaatar Cup. Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Himanshu Sharma (49kg), and Muhammed Etash Khan (56kg) will also feature in the gold medal bout on Sunday.
It was a mixed day for Indian boxing contingent in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia as four Indian boxers went down against their opponents in the semi-finals of Ulaanbaatar Cup. However, five boxers will have all to play for on Sunday as they fight for gold.
Sonia Lather, a two-time world and Asian championships silver-medalist, defeated Tiantian Zhao of China in a split decision in semi-finals. Mandeep Jangra and Shiva Thapa fought against the boxer from Combodia. While Mandeep won against Tsend-Ayush Otgon-Erdene, Thapa, lost a closely-contested bout to Battumur Misheelt.
Sonia looked off-colour in the opening round, which Zhao dominated with her well-connected right hooks. However, Sonia staged a strong recovery in the second and third rounds, drawing from her huge reservoir of experience to fetch a favourable verdict in the end and now will face local favourite Tumurkhuyag Bolortuul in the summit clash.
Mandeep, on the other hand, was way superior when it came to hitting impactful punches and was also helped by a warning to Otgon-Erdene for excessive bending. The former world bronze-winner and three-time Asian-medallist Thapa connected better but could not get the nod from the judges, who were split in their verdict favouring the crowd favourite.
Among other Indian boxers to reach the final, Lovlina Bargohain, dominated from the very start, taking good advantage of her opponent Enkhbaatar Erdenetuya's sluggish foot movement. The Assam-boxer will square off against Chinese Taipei's Nien Chen Chen in her summit clash.
Himanshu Sharma just edged out Thailand's Samek Saehan 3-2 to set up final bout against Iran's Omid Ahmadisafa. Etash Khan, in contrast, won unanimously against Mongolian Tsaganbaatar Munkhbaatar displaying sharp reflexes and powerful strokes. He faces Baltiyev Abdukhaul of Kazakhstan in final.
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