Young Indian boxer Manisha Maun on Sunday has sent reigning world champion Dina Zhalaman of Kazakhstan packing with another authoritative win in 54kg and progressed to the quarterfinal, a step away from grabbing a maiden medal in the AIBA Women’s World Championships in Delhi.
Rising 🇮🇳pugilist #ManishaMaun maintains her calm till the last moment of the bout registering a unanimous 5⃣:0⃣ win against reigning World Champion Kazakhstan's Dina Zholaman in her preliminaries at the AIBA Women's World Championship in Delhi. Kudos girl! 🥊🤗#PunchMeinHainDum pic.twitter.com/iV7qztrvLX— Boxing Federation (@BFI_official) November 18, 2018
The 20-year-old Manisha won a 5-0 unanimous verdict against her more experienced rival in a pre-quarterfinal bout in her maiden World Championships. This was the second win for the Haryana girl against Zholaman, having beaten the Kazakh boxer in the Silesian Women’s Boxing Championship in Poland earlier this year.
In the quarterfinals, Manisha faces top seed and 2016 World Championships silver medallist Stoyka Petrova of Bulgaria.
“For me, once I am inside the ring it does not matter whether my opponent is a world champion or a silver medallist. I play my game and do what the coaches told me. So, my approach will be the same in my next bout also,” Manisha Moun said.
“Today, like in my first bout, I played from a distance but I played faster and more aggressive. It was a good bout,” said the young Indian boxer.
Two other Indians, Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Kachari Bhagyabati (81kg), also made it to the quarterfinals with 5-0 and 4-1 wins on points in their respective pre-quarterfinal bouts.
Meanwhile, M C Mary Kom stormed into the 48kg quarterfinal of AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships with a win over Aigerim Kessenayeva of Kazakhstan but stopped short of promising an unprecedented sixth gold in the marquee event.
Mary Kom is currently tied with Katie Taylor of Ireland on five gold in the World Championships. The 35-year-old Manipuri, a mother of three, won a silver in the first edition and then went on to win five gold in successive World Championships from 2002 to 2010.
“Anything can happen in a boxing bout. The country and the fans want a gold from me and I will give my best and try to win a gold,” Mary Kom said after winning the bout 5-0 in the capital.
“There was a bit of pressure as it was my first bout of the tournament. I have been handling the pressure of expectation from the people of my country for the last 16 years and I have happy to face this pressure. In the initial years, it was a bit tough to handle this pressure but now I am used to it,” said the Olympic bronze medallist.
She said she was not bothered by negative talks about her in some quarters.
“Sometimes, there were negative things being said about me but I am not bothered by these negative things about me.
“My life is all about boxing and I will focus on my sport. I am enjoying my sport and I am enjoying the love offered by the fans. I am still working hard and hard work pays,” the Olympic bronze medallist said.
(With PTI inputs)