Mary Kom started her campaign on a positive note by defeating fifth-seed Varsha Choudhary to enter into the quarter-final of the India Open Boxing in New Delhi. Along with other Indians, Manoj Kumar has also cleared his first hurdle in the form of Kenya's Kimathi Jacob in the welterweight division.
The ongoing India Open tournament is important for the Indian squad as the players will be spotted for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and India’s boxers didn’t miss the chance to prove their mettle. 12th seed Mary Kom, who bagged a fifth Asian Championships gold medal last year, entered the quarters of the light-fly category by outclassing Varsha Choudhary. It was a good fight between the two players but Mary Kom utilized her experience of playing international games to see off his opponent.
Due to the small size of the draw, Pooja entered the semifinals of the welterweight (69kg) on the first day of the competition.
Last year’s Nation’s Cup gold-medalist Neeraj failed to cross the opening obstacle as former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen defeated her in the 51Kg category. Zareen won the clash on a split verdict. Sixth-seed Pinki Jangra, who won the Commonwealth Games bronze-medal, easily beat Meenakshi in the same weight category and won the bout unanimously.
KA Indraja faced the former world championships silver-medalist Saweety Boora in the 75 Kg weight category and the sixth seed Boora easily emerged as the victorious. Satish Kumar, who won Asian Games bronze medal, showed his dominance against Nepal’s Ashish Duwadi (+91Kg) and entered the quarter-finals of the event.
Olympian Manoj Kumar also started his campaign on a winning note as he overcame Kimathi Jacob. It was not an easy bout for the Indian as in the initial stage he spent some time to assess his opponent. In the first two rounds, he landed only a few blows. He showed his class in the final round where he picked all his points and won the clash.
Apart from the Indian players, some foreign pugilists also managed to enter the next round including Finland's Marjut Potkonan (light-weight), Philippines Josie Gabuco (light-fly), Thailand's Bunjong Sinsiri (light-welter) and Mongolia's Erdene Urachimeg (flyweight).