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Sonia & Mandeep in final; Shiva Thapa takes bronze

New Delhi: World silver-medallist Sonia Lather (57kg) and Mandeep Jangra were among the five Indian boxers to enter the finals, while four others, including Shiva Thapa (60kg), signed off with bronze medals in the Ulaanbaatar Cup in Mongolia on Saturday.

Those who made the final along with Sonia and Mandeep were Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), a gold-medallist at the India Open earlier this year, Himanshu Sharma (49kg), and Muhammed Etash Khan (56kg).

Ending with bronze medals were Shiva, debutant Vanhmlimpuia (75kg), Ashish (64kg), and Bina Devi Koijam (48kg), a direct entrant into the last-four stage owing to the small size of the women's draw.

While Shiva lost a closely-contested bout to home boxer Battumur Misheelt, Bina was out-punched by Korean Kim Kum Sun. Ashish too lost to a Mongolian in Uranchmeg Munkh-Erdene, while Vanhmlimpuia was beaten by Iran's Mousavi Seyedshahin.

Sonia, a two-time world, and Asian championships silver-medallist defeated Tiantian Zhao of China in a split decision. The Indian looked off-colour in the opening round, which Zhao dominated with her well-connected right hooks.

However, Sonia staged a strong recovery in the second and third rounds, drawing from her huge reservoir of experience to fetch a favourable verdict in the end. She will face local favourite Tumurkhuyag Bolortuul in the summit clash.

Lovlina, in contrast, dominated from the very start, taking good advantage of her opponent Enkhbaatar Erdenetuya's sluggish foot movement.

The Indian punched at will, her jabs connecting powerfully. The Assam-boxer will now square off against Chinese Taipei's Nien Chen Chen in her summit clash.

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