Big Bout Boxing League: Mary Kom takes centre stage in opener

Mary Kom's Punjab Panthers will take on Odisha Warriors in the opening encounter of the Big Bout Boxing League in Noida on Monday.

Punjab Panthers' Mary Kom will take on Odisha Warriors' Savita in the women's 51 kg bout on Monday.   -  Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Six-time world champion M.C. Mary Kom will be the star attraction for Punjab Panthers which takes on Odisha Warriors in the inaugural contest of the much-awaited Big Bout Indian Boxing League, starting at the Gautam Buddha University here on Monday.

Mary Kom, who lost in the semifinals of the World championships to settle for a bronze medal earlier this year, said she learnt from her mistakes in the elite event and would improve her performance in the run-up to the Olympic qualifier in Wuhan, China, in February.

In the women’s 51kg duel, Mary will take on Warriors’ Savita, a bronze medalist in the National championships and a National junior champion, in her first bout of the league.

Former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Manoj Kumar of Panthers will meet Asian youth medallist J. Rakhmanov of Uzbekistan in men’s 69kg bout.

The presence of well known boxers such as Sonia Lather, P.L. Prasad in the Punjab side and Sachin Siwach and Naman Tanwar in the Odisha team promises some exciting action in the six-team event, which will be telecast live on Star Sports and Prag News from 7 p.m. onwards.

The event, which will move to Delhi at a later stage, will continue till December 21.