Indian boxers continued to shine at home as three of them entered the pre-quarters with contrasting wins at the Women’s World Championships here on Saturday.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nitu Ganghas (48kg) began her campaign with a RSC (referee stopped contest) win over Doyeon Kang of Korea, while Preeti (54kg) eked out a 4-3 split decision victory against Romania’s Lacramioara Perijoc.
Manju Bamboriya (66kg), on the other hand, defeated Cara Wharerau of New Zealand by a 5-0 unanimous verdict.
Nitu, who lost in the quarter-final during the last edition, opened her campaign in the best possible way, winning the bout in the first round itself.
In the opening minute, she used her hook and left cross but wasn’t able to connect her jabs.
The boxers then went into a frenzy as they punched each other with both hands. Soon, Kang got the first standing count.
With Nitu continuing her onslaught, the Korean got her second standing count 20 seconds later with referee Luca Vadilonga of Italy ruling in the Indian’s favour, much to the joy of the partisan crowd at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall.
Having won her opening bout by an RSC verdict, Preeti had to work hard for her second win in the tournament.
“I had prepared a lot for this bout, she had won a silver last time. I want to prove to myself that I’m less than no one,” said Preeti.
“I was trying to understand her game in the beginning. In the last round I changed my strategy. She was attacking and getting unbalanced.” Both boxers looked to keep a distance in the first few seconds. Preeti was caught unawares by a Perijoc straight jab but the Haryana pugilist recovered soon.
The 2022 Asian Championships bronze medallist then landed two punches on her Romanian opponent and led 3-2 at the end of the first round.
In the second round, both boxers tried to sidestep each other as Perijoc resorted to body blows.
Preeti danced around the ring, using her nimble feet, as she tried to avoid the Romanian. She landed some accurate punches but lost the round 2-3.
In the final three minutes, Preeti resorted to counter attacking which she did effectively. The round was a draw with the bout going into a review. The evaluator and observer ruled in favour of the Indian.
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