Women's Boxing Worlds: Manju Rani enters final, Mary Kom, Jamuna, Lovlina settle for bronze

India's Manju Rani beat Chuthamat Raksat 4-1 in the 48kg semis, while six-time champ Mary Kom, Jamuna Boro and Lovlina Borgohain had to settle for bronze.

Manju Rani beat Chuthamat Raksat in the semifinal of the 48kg category at the Women's World Boxing Championships in Ulan-Ude, Russia.   -  Twitter (@BFI_official)

Debutant Manju Rani (48kg) was the lone Indian to reach the final, while six-time champion M C Mary kom (51kg) and two others signed off with bronze medals at the Women’s World Boxing Championships in Ulan-Ude, Russia, on Saturday.

Sixth-seed Manju defeated Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat 4-1 in her semifinal bout. She will take on second-seed Ekaterina Paltceva of Russia in the title clash on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Mary Kom, Jamuna Boro (54kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) settled for bronze medals. This was the second successive third-place finish for Lovlina.

Mary Kom, seeded three, lost 1-4 to Turkey's second seed Busenaz Cakiroglu, who is the reigning European Championships and European Games gold-medallist. Jamuna, on the other hand, went down 0-5 to top seed and former Asian Games bronze-medallist Huang Hsiao-Wen of Chinese Taipei, while Lovlina squared off against China’s Yang Liu and was beaten 2-3 in a hard-fought bout.

AS IT HAPPENED| Women's World Boxing Championships semifinals

The Indian contingent sought a review of the final decision in Mary Kom’s bout but the appeal was turned down by the International Boxing Association’s (AIBA) technical committee. The rules mandate that the decision has to be either 3-2 or 3-1 for an appeal to be even accepted for consideration.

“I am very disappointed with the decision. I think I fought much better and did not deserve to lose but I will try to ensure that this setback helps me achieve bigger things,” Mary Kom told PTI.

Manju Rani, who hails from Haryana and made the national camp only this year, put up a gutsy show against the more muscular Raksat. Relying on counter-attacks in the first two rounds, the Strandja Memorial silver-medallist went on the offensive in the final three minutes.

She rattled the Thai with her ferocious combination punches, piercing through her shell guard with forceful straight punches.

Mary Kom also fought a tactically sound bout but was edged out by the Turk in a split verdict.

Both the boxers seemed hesitant to make the first move in the opening round but Mary Kom had the edge in counter-attacks as Cakiroglu struggled to make her height advantage count.

The second round followed a similar pattern as far as the tactics went and although it was close, the judges ruled it in the Turk’s favour in a split call.

READ| Mary Kom loses Boxing Worlds semis, disputes decision

In the final three minutes, both the boxers upped the ante but Cakiroglu got the judges’ nod.

“Mary fought exceptionally well and should have won the bout. We are still quite stunned that the decision did not go in her favour,” India’s assistant coach and Mary Kom’s trainer Chhote Lal Yadav said.

Despite this loss, it was a stupendous campaign for the 36-year-old Mary Kom and added to her long list of accomplishments. This bronze is her first world medal in the 51kg category.

Jamuna Boro was up against a much taller rival and although she fought her heart out, the height advantage worked for Huang, who struck some stinging body blows on the Indian.

“I am happy with the bronze but I think I could have done better. Obviously I made mistakes, that’s why I lost. I will go back and make sure those mistakes are not repeated and I do better next time,” Boro said after the loss.

Lovlina Borgohain found a wily opponent in Liu. The Chinese boxer had a definitive reach advantage and she made it count with her jabs. Borgohain did well in counter-attacks but Liu claimed the upperhand with her more forcefully-struck punches.

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