Manisha, Sarita advance in World women's boxing championships

Unperturbed by a tough draw, Manisha handed a shock 5-0 defeat to World championships medallist Christina of the USA in a 54kg first round contest.

Backed by loud cheers from the spectators, including her mother, Manisha executed her game plan well to deny her accomplished rival any free scoring opportunities.   -  PTI

Young Manisha Moun bolstered her reputation of being a giant-killer by toppling two-time World championships medallist Christina Cruz and seasoned L. Sarita Devi managed to edge past an experienced Sandra Brugger as India began its campaign on a positive note in the World women's boxing championships at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex, here, on Friday.

Unperturbed by a tough draw, Manisha handed a shock 5-0 defeat to World championships medallist Christina of the USA in a 54kg first round contest.

Backed by loud cheers from the spectators, including her mother, Manisha executed her game plan well to deny her accomplished rival any free scoring opportunities.

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Fighting from a distance, Manisha began watchfully and used her left-right combinations to good effect. Even while employing her footwork and swaying skills to avoid Christina's punches, the Indian built the tempo in the last two rounds.

When the 36-year-old American switched gear to more attacking mode, the home boxer replied with some lusty counter blows.

“My coaches had warned me of Christina's right blows. So, I avoided those and tried to land some left ones,” said Manisha, facing reigning world champion Kazakh Dina Zholaman, who beat Japanese Mizuki Hiruta on a split (4-1) decision, on Sunday.

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While Manisha sounded confident about her next fight, Dina, who had lost to the Indian in the Silesian championship in Poland in September, rated the home challenger as a 'good boxer.' Sarita fought hard to beat to her Swiss opponent Sandra with a 4-0 decision in a 60kg second round bout.

The 36-year-old Indian seized the initiative by landing some clean punches before old hand Sandra answered back with her rapid combinations. Sarita made an impact with a solid right as Sandra went through a standing count in the second round.

With her stamina level dropping in the final round, the Indian held her guard tight and banked on the occasional counter-attack to emerge as the winner. She set-up a pre-quarterfinals clash with Worlds silver medallist in 64kg Kellie Harrington, who went past New Zealand's Commonwealth Games bronze winner Troy Garton 5-0, on Sunday.

“Since my opponent was aggressive, I had to defend a lot. In modern-day boxing, you have to use your guard and combination of punches and I did that,” said Sarita.

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Other important results (preliminary rounds):

48kg: Steluta Duta (Rou) bt Laura Pfuertes (Esp) 5-0, Yulianova Asenova (Bul) bt Astryd Ugarte (Aus) 5-0, Hanna Okhota (Ukr) bt Marie Maciejewski (Ger) 5-0; Josie Gabuco (Phi) bt Ekaterina Paltseva (Rus) 5-0, Aigerim Kassenayeva (Kaz) bt Jazzelle Bobadilla (USA) 3-2.

54kg: ZohraEz Zahraoui (Mar) bt Azize Nimani (Ger) 3-2, Ivanna Krupenia (Ukr) bt Yingying Lu (Chn) 3-2, Julianna Rodriguez (Crc) bt Giulia Delaurenti (Ita) 5-0.

60kg: Mira Potkonen (Fin) bt Ajna Stridsman (Aus) 3-2, Sudaporn Seesondee (Tha) bt Stacia Suttles (USA) 3-2, Yeonji Oh (Kor) bt Beatriz Ferreira (Bra) 3-2, Paige Murney (Eng) bt Irma Testa (Ita) 3-2, Agnes Alexiusson (Swe) bt Ditte Frostholm (Den) 5-0, Karina Ibragimova (Kaz) bt Imane, Anastasiia Beliakova (Rus) bt Elisa Williams (Pan) 5-0.

69kg: Shakhnoza Yunusova (Uzb) bt Kimberly Gittens (Bar) 3-2, Myriam da Silva (Can) bt Eccles Rosie (Wal) 4-1, Akerke Bakhytzhan (Kaz) bt Erdenetuya Enkhbaatar (Mgl) 5-0, Athenya Bylon (Pan) bt Yuliia Stoiko (Ukr) 3-2.