NEW DELHI, Nov 20: The legendary MC Mary Kom on Tuesday assured herself a seventh medal at the Women’s World Boxing Championship to become the most successful pugilist in the event’s history, while debutant Lovlina Borgohain was also guaranteed a podium finish here.
Mary Kom, a mother-of-three, defeated China’s Wu Yu 5-0 in the light flyweight (48kg) category quarterfinals to enter the semis and be assured of at least a bronze.
Joining the 35-year-old Manipuri in the last-four stage was debutant Borgohain (69kg), an Asian Championships bronze-medallist last year. The 21-year-old from Assam claimed a 5-0 verdict over Scott Kaye Frances of Australia. Borgohain won a gold at the inaugural India Open earlier this year.
Mary Kom entered the event with a remarkable tally of five gold medals and a silver to her credit. She last won a world championship medal in 2010 – a 48kg category gold.
“It was a tough bout. Not very tough but not very easy also. There are a lot of good Chinese boxers who keep coming. I have faced a lot of them but this opponent, I have not faced earlier,” the diminutive star said after her bout.
“But once I got her game I thought out what to do and I did not have much of a problem after that,” she added.
The Olympic bronze-medallist next faces North Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi in the semifinal on Thursday. The Indian had beaten her in the Asian Championships last year.
“So, I am confident of winning but not overconfident,” she added.
In a bout which saw little action, Mary Kom was the better boxer with clean punches. More importantly, the local favourite rarely allowed Wu to get a clean shot at her. The five judges ruled in her favour with the elaborate scoreline reading 30-27, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28, 30-27.
Mary Kom was tied with Irish legend Katie Taylor on the number of medals won before this edition.
But with Tuesday’s win, the Manipuri became the most successful boxer in the marquee tournament. Taylor now plies her trade in the professional circuit.
Borgohain, who hails from Assam, produced a dominating performance to beat her Australian opponent, who won the 81kg category silver in the 2016 edition. Scott also won a bronze in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games earlier this year.
“It was a tough fight but I think I handled my opponent well. I am happy to be assured of a medal in my first World Championships,” she said.
“I want to win a gold and that is my target. I will not be satisfied by anything less than a gold,” she added.
Borgohain next faces Chen Nien-Chin of Taipei in the semifinals on Thursday.
“I have faced her once earlier and I lost. But at that time I was inexperienced. But I am confident I can beat her this time,” she added.
However, two other Indians, Manisha Maun (54kg) and Bhagyabati Kachari (81kg), lost their respective quarterfinal bouts to bow out of the tournament.
Manisha lost to top seed Stoyka Petrova of Bulgaria in a split 4-1 decision.
“For me it was a win, but I lost. This is my first World Championships and I will take the positives from this event,” she said.
Kachari lost 2-3 to Jessica Sinisterra of Columbia. She was leading in the first round but the Columbian fought back to do better in the next two.
“It was a tough fight. I won the first round. She was spraying her punches and also pulling and pushing. I think I could not control her,” said the 26-year-old from Assam. – PTI