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Boxing: Pooja upsets World Champion as 9 Indians reach finals of Boxam International
New Delhi, March 6, 2021
It was India's day as Asian Championship winner Pooja Rani (75kg) stunned World Champion Atheyna Bylon of Panama and led nine Indian pugilists into the finals of the 35th Boxam International Boxing tournament in Castellon, Spain late on Friday.
Other Indian women boxers joining Pooja in the final are debutant Jasmine (57kg) and Simranjit (60kg) while six men also marched into the finals.
However, six-time World Champion Mary Kom (51kg) lost to USA’s Virginia Fuchs.
Pooja dominated her opponent from the beginning and earned a unanimous win. She will now square off against Melissa Graham of USA in the final.
Young Jasmine displayed great composure and chalked out an easy 4-1 win over Italy’s Sirine Charaabi. She will be up against European Champion Irma Testa in the gold medal bout.
World Championship bronze medalist Simranjit was up against veteran Puerto Rican boxer Kiria Tapia and in a close encounter which saw both the boxers trade a series of punches throughout but some intelligent ring craft by the Indian ensured a close 3-2 win over her senior opponent. Simran will face World Championship bronze medalist Rashida Ellis in the final
In the men section, Commonwealth Games bronze medalist Mohammed Hussamuddin (57kg) displayed technical superiority over Panama’s Orlando Martinez to win 4-1. He will face Puerto Rico’s Paul Rivera in the bout for the gold.
In the light welter weight category, World Championship bronze medalist Manish Kaushik (6kg) waged a grim battle to put it across France’s Lounes Hamraoui 3-2. He will be fighting for the yellow metal against Denmark’s Nikolai Terteryan.
Vikas Krishan (69 kg) who beat Olympic bronze medalist Vicenzo Mangiacapre in the quarter-finals, overpowered two-time World bronze medalist Ablaikhan Zhussupov in a tough fight that saw both the boxers playing an attacking game.
However, Vikas won with a split 3:2 verdict and will take on local boy Youba Sissokho in the final.
Ashish Kumar (75kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg) and Satish Kumar (91+kg) outclassed their respective opponents and sailed into the finals comfortably.