Sakshi on course for a clash with Sonia

Boxer Sakshi Chaudhary is a good dancer in the ring; she stepped back and evaded the barrage of punches and put up a strong defence against Tongbram Premi Devi.

Sakshi Chaudhary (in blue) in action against Manipur's Tongbram Premi Devi in the 57kg category bout of the Elite National Women's Boxing Championship in Kannur on Thursday.   -  S.K. Mohan

 

She is an outside fighter, prefers to stay back, study her opponent closely and then go for the attack. Sakshi Chaudhary came to her 57kg pre-quarterfinal against Manipur Tongbram Premi Devi with a heavy reputation in the fourth Elite National women's boxing championship here on Thursday.

The 19-year-old from Haryana has won the World Championship thrice, once in junior and twice in the youth category. That could rattle any opponent. But this was Sakshi's maiden senior National and Tongbram tried to trouble her with a quick combination at the Mundayad indoor stadium. The Manipuri, a few inches shorter than Sakshi, attempted to go inside early and unleash a few upper cuts. A little later, she came up with left hooks and followed it up with right jabs.

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But Sakshi is a good dancer in the ring. She stepped back and evaded the barrage of punches and put up a strong defence. And then, slowly she began to test the waters, first with a bit of pawing jabs and then coming out with some hard and long left jabs. The punches appeared to be few but they were very effective. She frequently went for her opponent's face and jaw.

Sakshi, coached by the famed Jagdish Singh in Bhiwani, was at her best in the final round and Tongbram was once given an eight-count. A little later, the Haryana girl emerged with a 5-0 verdict.

“I think I'll end up meeting Sonia Chahal (former World silver medallist), who also trains with us at the Bhiwani Boxing Cllub, in the final,” said Sakshi, quite confident, after the win.

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Meanwhile another young Haryana girl, Nupur, adopted a bolder strategy against Himachal Pradesh's Sandhya in the 75kg pre-quarterfinal. Daughter of coach Sanjay Kumar and perhaps the tallest boxer in her category, Nupur lowered her guard frequently, almost inviting her opponent to go in and attack, but whenever Sandhya came close, she held her back and punished her with a hard left. Nupur, like Sakshi, is a good mover and her combination punches also troubled the Himachal girl. In the end, she had it easy.

Select results (pre-quarterfinals):

Light flyweight (48kg): Aarti (Har) bt Gorli Jyothi (AP) 5-0; Priya Gorh (Asm) bt Anchu Sabu (Ker) 5-0.

Flyweight (51kg): Ritu Grewal (Har) bt Poonam (Raj) RSC-1; Deepa Kumari (MP) bt Sangita Rumale (Mah) 3-2; Vanlal Duati (Pol) bt Kamaljeet Kaur (Pun) 4-1.

Bantamweight (54kg): Darshana (Har) bt Tejaswini Jivrag (Mah) 4-1; Gayatri (Utk) bt Battini Likhitha (AP) 5-0.

Featherweight (57kg): Sakshi Chaudhary (Har) bt Tongbram Premi Devi (Man) 5-0; T.C. Lalremruati (Miz) bt Tanu Solanki (MP) 5-0; Meenakshi (Rly) bt Nissy Laissy Thampy (Ker) 5-0.

Lightweight (60kg): G. Monisha (TN) bt Amandeep Kaur Madahar (Pun) 5-0; Pavitra (Rly) bt Muskan Gupta (Ben) RSC-1.

Light welterweight (64kg): Gajal Mariya (Kar) bt Rupinder Kaur (Pun) 5-0; Abisak Vanlamawii (Miz) bt R. Priyadharshini (TN) RSC-1.

Welterweight (69kg): Anjali (Del) bt Gagandeep kaur (Pun) 5-0; Ansumol Benny (Ker) bt Farina Llyas (BFLAD) RSC-1; Meena Rani (Rly) bt Priyanka Thakur (Pol) RSC-3.

Middleweight (75kg): Neha Chauhan (Utk) bt K.D. Devashree (Kar) 3-1; Nupur (Har) bt Sandhya (HP) 5-0.

Light heavyweight (81kg): Lalfakmawii Ralte (Pol) bt Seethal Shaji (Ker) 5-0; Gompa Rupini (AP) bt Ganta Saranya (Ori) RSC-1.

Heavyweight (+81kg): Parveen (Pun) bt Sneha Singh (Del) 5-0; P.M. Anaswara (Ker) bt Himani Rana (UP) RSC-1.