Guwahati: Six-time world champion Mary Kom (51kg) was crowned champion in the second edition of the India Open International Boxing Tournament at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi Indoor Stadium here on Friday, May 24.
Additionally, Amit Panghal (52kg) won his third gold of the year while Shiva Thapa finished on top in the 60kg category.
Fresh from winning her eighth medal in the Asian Championships, Sarita Devi (60kg) added the India Open gold to her illustrious resume while Neeraj carried on her giant-killing form to stun Asian Championships bronze medallist Manisha Moun in the 57kg category.
Mary Kom brought all her experience to the fore to blow away the challenge of Vanlal Duati to script a facile 5-0 win. This was the London Olympic bronze medallist’s second gold from the India Open, adding to the 48kg gold she won last year in New Delhi.
Panghal smartly evaded the taller Sachin Siwach’s attacks in the first round to begin with a defensive approach. It was towards the end of the second round that the Asian Games gold medallist found his rhythm and started choosing the right moments to land his blows over the former world youth champion. Panghal dominated the third round for the yellow metal to add to the gold medals he won at the Strandja Cup and Asian Championships earlier in the year.
“Sachin’s very tall. I think he’s the tallest boxer I faced till date. I fought with some tall boxers in the Asian Championships but Sachin is taller than them,” said Panghal after his win.
“My strategy was to either get close to him or stay away from his range. By staying away, it also helped me assess his technique and then get close to attack from close range,” he added.
Much to the delight of the crowd, Shiva Thapa grabbed the 60kg gold in a revenge bout against 2018 champion Manish Kaushik a year after losing to him in the semifinal. The Guwahati boy, who won a bronze at the continental event this year, was fierce and aggressive and did not put a foot wrong in the 5-0 demolition.
Sarita Devi endured a tough fight from Simranjit Kaur before edging the World Championships bronze medallist for a 3-2 win. This was the former world champion’s first gold in any competition in three years following her victory at the South Asian Games in 2016. The veteran pugilist dedicated the prized medal to her mother whom she lost to cancer last year.
A day after knocking out World Championships silver medallist Sonia, Neeraj continued her sublime form to notch up a commanding 5-0 victory over Manisha, who had changed category from 54kg to 57kg.
Asian Championships bronze medallist Ashish showed his prowess in 69kg to soar to a 4-1 win over compatriot Duryodhan Singh Negi.
Local girl Jamuna Boro delivered a flurry of punches that earned her a perfect 5-0 win over Y. Sandhyarani. World Championships bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain did not enjoy the same fortune despite vociferous cheers from the crowd. The 69kg boxer missed out on the gold in a tight contest which she lost 2-3 against Italy’s Assunta Canfora.
There was no stopping Deepak in the 49kg category. Oozing confidence with every punch, the Asian Championships silver medallist knocked out Govind Kumar Sahani 5-0.
Kavinder Singh Bisht had to settle for the silver after going down fighting 2-3 against 2015 Asian champion Chatchai Decha Butdee of Thailand. This was Bisht’s second consecutive silver this year after the Asian Championships last month.
In 64kg, Rohit Tokas suffered a knee twist in the first round and was forced to forfeit his bout to 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Colin Louis Richarno of Mauritius. Tokas, who won the bronze in India Open last year, had to be content with the silver.
Ashish Kumar’s hopes of winning the 75kg gold were dashed as he had to give a walkover to Philippines’ Eumir Felix Delos Santos due to a cut that he sustained on his forehead in the semifinal.
49kg: Deepak (IND) bt Govind Kumar Sahani (IND) 5-0
52kg: Amit Panghal (IND) bt Sachin Siwach (IND) 4-1
56kg: Chatchai Decha Butdee (THA) bt Kavinder Singh Bisht (IND) 3-2
60kg: Shiva Thapa (IND) bt Manish Kaushik (IND) 5-0
64kg: Colin Louis Richarno (MRI) bt Rohit Tokas (IND) (Tokas forfeited bout due to injury)
69kg: Ashish (IND) bt Duryodhan Singh Negi (IND) 4-1
75kg: Eumir Felix Delos Santos (PHI) bt Ashish Kumar (IND) (walkover)
48kg: Josie Gabuco (PHL) bt Monika (IND) 3-2
51kg: Mary Kom (IND) bt Vanlal Duati (IND) 5-0
54kg: Jamuna Boro (IND) bt Y. Sandhyarani (IND) 5-0
57kg: Neeraj (IND) bt Manisha (IND) 5-0
60kg: Sarita Devi (IND) bt Simranjit Kaur (IND) 3-2
69kg: Assunta Canfora (ITA) bt Lovlina Borgohain (IND) 3-2