Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom (51kg) will seek her sixth gold when she squares off against Kazakhstan’s Nazym Kyzaibay in the women’s 51kg final of the Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai on Sunday.
The 38-year-old Olympic-bound Mary Kom had prevailed 4-1 over Mongolia’s Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg in the semifinals on Thursday. She will face a stiff challenge from the two-time world champion Kyzaibay in the summit clash.
Another Olympic-bound boxer Pooja Rani, who received a walk-over in the semi-finals, will fight against an in-form Mavluda Movlonova of Uzbekistan, who ended the challenge of London Olympics medallist Marina Volnova in the last-4 stage.
Anupama (+81kg) and Lalbuatsahi (64kg) will also face strong Kazakh boxers in their respective finals. Lalbuatsaihi will face Milana Safronova while Anupama will take on Lazzat Kungeibayeva.
Women’s finals (approximate timings)
1: Mary Kom (51 kg)- 7:45 PM IST
2: Lalbuatsaihi (64kg) - 8:45 PM
3: Pooja (75kg)- 9:15 PM
4: Anupama (81+kg)- 9:45 PM
The finals will be streamed live on YouTube here.
At the on-going prestigious Championships, which is jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation, Indian contingent have already ensured their best-ever show by securing unprecedented 15 medals and bettered previous highest of 13 medals (2 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze) achieved during the 2019 edition.
Eight Indian pugilists – Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Jaismine (57kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (64kg), Monika (48kg), Saweety (81kg) among women and Vikas Krishan (69kg) and Varinder Singh (60kg) among men – have secured bronze medals with their semi-final finish.
Sakshi had originally won her semi-final too but lost her final spot after her rival, top-seeded Kazakh Dina Zholaman, successfully challenged the narrow victory that the two-time youth world champion had clinched. Six Indian women boxers, including Sakshi, Tokyo-bound Simranjit Kaur and Lovlina Borgohain, finished with bronze medals.
The International Boxing Association, AIBA, has allocated $400,000 prize money for the on-going Championships. The gold medallists of men’s and women’s categories will be awarded with $10,000 while both the silver and bronze medal winners will take home $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.
(With PTI inputs)