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Sarita Devi advances in boxing world championship

Asian Championship 2012 gold medalist Sarita Devi advanced to the next round in the 60 kg weight category by defeating Ayzanat Hajiyeva of Azerbaijan on points 27:11 at the seventh AIBA World Women Boxing Championships here. Compatriot Pooja Rani (75 kgs) bowed out with a 11:27 loss to Claressa Maria Shields of the US.

It was not all plain sailing for Sarita as she was made to work hard in the first couple of rounds Saturday. At the end of Round 1, the Indian boxer took a slender lead of 4:3. However in Round 2 Sarita changed her game plan and went on the offensive throughout the round, thereby notching up a big lead.

The Azerbaijan boxer did respond with a couple of counterpunches but Sarita utilising her vast experience kept her at bay and ended Round 3 at 22:8. In the final round both Sarita and Ayzanat fought extremely hard but the Indian romped home the winner 27:11.

Sarita's next opponent will be Gulsum Tatar of Turkey Monday, who has been seeded World No.2 at this Championships and had hence received a bye to the next round.

In the 75 kgs weight category, Pooja Rani was defeated by a dazzling display from 17-year-old American Maria Shields. The teenager had defeated the World No.1 seed Mary Spencer of Canada last month.

Pooja made a strong start in Round 1 but yet trailed on points 3:7 at the end of the round. While the Indian did land a couple of telling blows on Claressa, the counter punches from the USA boxer were lightning fast and helped her to consolidate the lead to 14:5. By the end of Round 3 the score was 21:7 and ended Round 4 on points 27:11.

On day 3, five Indian boxers will be seen in action. Mary Kom (51 kgs), Sonia Lather (54 kgs), Pinky Jangra (48 kgs), Meena Rani (64 kgs) and Neetu Chahal (69 kgs) will be vying for a place in the next round

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