Punjab’s Minakshi, Chandigarh’s Rituz and crowd favourite Anchu Sabu emerged winners on the opening day of the fourth National Boxing Championships in Kannur on Monday.

A total of 235 boxers from 33 teams will be seen in action at Mundayad Indoor Stadium.
A total of 23 matches were played on the first day with Punjab pugilist Minakshi (48kg) displaying superb control and movement to beat Meghalaya’s Eva Marbaniang 5-0.

Rituz also began her campaign emphatically as she defeated Ladakh’s Dechen in a one-sided affair in the light flyweight category. The referee had to stop the contest as early as the first round.

Buoyed by home support, Anchu Sabu (48kg) sprung the surprise of the day as she landed a string of power-packed punches on Manika Kumari from Bengal and bagged the bout with an RSC verdict in round 2.

However, the most exciting bout of the day was played between Assam’s Priya Gorh and Madhya Pradesh’s Anjali Sharma in the 48kg category. Both the boxers fought neck and neck in all the three rounds before Priya prevailed in the end with a split 3-2 verdict.

The fourth edition of the tournament will witness silver medallist Sonia Chahal (57kg), junior youth champions Jyoti Gulia (51kg) and Shashi Chopra (60 kg), President’s Cup gold medallist Monica (48kg), Cologne world Cup gold medallist Meenakumari Devi (54kg) and India Open gold medallist Bhagyabati Kachari (81kg) in action.

The pugilists will be competing in all the 10 weight categories – 48kg, 51kg, 54kg, 57kg, 60kg, 64kg, 69 kg, 75 kg, 81kg and +81kg.

Last year, Haryana finished at the top of the podium followed by Railways. The preliminary matches will be played on the first four days followed by the knockout stages starting from December 6. The final matches will be played on December 8.