After veteran Mary Kom and Shiksha Singh, Neeraj Kumari and Sonia Lather also moved to the quarter-finals of the Asian Boxing Championships on Friday at Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam, defeating Myanmar’s Nally Nally and Japan’s Kana Kurogi respectively by unanimous decisions.
The Haryana boxer brought up India’s first win of the day as battled past her opponent in the 51 kg category to maintain India’s unblemished start to the campaign. Neeraj has had an impressive year so far, and even earned a gold medal in the six nations cup in Serbia.
Lather strategically outsmarted her opponent her 57 kg round of 16 encounter. The Indian started off slowly and was on the defensive in the first round, blocking and parrying punches for much of it. Lather was in her element in the second round and landed several clean punches, and Kurugi was unable to recover from from the 25-year-old onslaught.
Pooja Rani is India’s next competent, and will fight against China’s Xiaoli Yang. A win there would assure the 81 kg pugilist of a medal.