MC Mary Kom displayed her class as she defeated China’s Wu Yu to assure India of a medal in the AIBA World Boxing Championship in New Delhi on Tuesday. Mary Kom, the five-time world champion, defeated Wu Yu 5-0. The Indian was aggressive right from the start as she landed aggressive punches on Yu in all the three rounds and the judges announced a unanimous decision in favour of the five-time world champion. Mary Kom is part of a strong Indian boxing contingent and there are hopes that they can get their best-ever medals haul in the history of this tournament.
The Women’s World Championship is a special tournament for Mary Kom. Ever since 2001, when the event first took place, the 35-year-old has won six medals, five of which were gold. Her tally of five individual gold medals is the joint-most by any athlete, level with Ireland’s Katie Taylor.
Speaking to News Nation after being appointed the Brand Ambassador of the AIBA World Boxing Championship, Mary Kom had said, “The journey, at the very beginning, was very different. About five-six years ago, we were suffering in different ways in terms of facilities, travelling-wise and problems related to infrastructure. Today, all the needs are taken care immediately. No need to worry about support and facilities now. The younger generation is far better off than us as they have little worries,” Mary Kom said.
However, there was disappointment for India in the 54kg Bantwamweight section as Manisha Maun lost in the quarterfinals to Stoyka Petrova of Bulgaria 4-1. The 20-year-old had stunned world champion Dina Zholaman of Kazakhstan to enter the 54kg quarter-finals but here she was found wanting against the technical brilliance of Petrova.
More glory for India
In other results, more medals were assured for India Lovlina Borgohain defeated Australia's Kaye Frances Scott 5-0 to enter the semi-final of the 64-69 kg Welterweight division. She will next meet Nien Chin Chen of Chinese Taipei. In the 54-57 kg featherweight, Sonia continued her fine form by defeating Colombia's MA Castenada 4-1. She will face North Korea's Son Hwa Jo in the semi-final. In the 64 kg light welterweight category, India were assured of a medal with Simranjit Kaur winning 3-1 against Amy Broadhurst of Ireland. Simranjit will now face Dan Dou of China in the semi-final.
However, in a controversial incident, former gold-medallist Stanimira Petrova had her world championship accreditation revoked by the International Boxing Association (AIBA) after the world body ruled that her allegation of corruption by judges was not backed by evidence. The Bulgarian, a 54kg gold-medallist in the 2014 edition, accused the judges of corruption after losing her 57kg world championship pre-quarterfinal bout to India's Sonia Chahal here.
Sonia won the bout in a 3-2 split decision. AIBA's decision to revoke Petrova's accreditation came a day after her coach Petar Yosifov Lesov was barred from the corner for throwing a water bottle inside the ring after the bout. In a statement, AIBA said that by her conduct, Petrova has disrespected her opponent, the judges, the referee, the event organisers and the world body itself.