Smooth start for Indian boxers at India Open
New Delhi: India were assured of a medal without a fight, owing to the small size of the draw, even as favourites such as M C Mary Kom (48kg) advanced to the quarter-final of the India Open boxing tournament here.
Pooja was through straight to the welterweight (69kg) semifinals due to the small size of her draw, opening India's account on the first day itself.
Seeded 12th, five-time world champion Mary Kom, who claimed a fifth Asian Championships gold medal just a couple of months ago, advanced to the quarterfinals after defeating surprise fifth-seed compatriot Varsha Choudhary.
Mary Kom countered her rival's attack quite easily, digging from her experience to claim a unanimous win. Former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen got the better of last year's Nation's Cup gold-medallist Neeraj in her opening clash of the 51kg category. The national bronze- medallist won on a split verdict. Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Pinki Jangra, seeded sixth, had no trouble sailing past compatriot Meenakshi in the same weight category. The former professional boxer won the bout unanimously.
Former world championships silver-medallist Saweety Boora (75kg), who is seeded sixth, too advanced expectedly, defeating compatriot K A Indraja. Asian Games bronze-medallist Satish Kumar (+91kg) pummelled Nepal's Ashish Duwadi to enter the quarterfinals.
Satish fetched a unanimous verdict after thoroughly dominating his bout. Y Sandhyarani (75kg) got the better of Mongolian Namun Monkhor in a split verdict.