Boxers from Chandigarh and Punjab dominated the proceedings on the second day of the 4th Elite Women’s National Boxing Championships at the Mundayad Indoor Stadium here on Tuesday.
The day began with a fiery encounter between last year’s bronze medallists KH Shamim Banu from Manipur and Chandigarh’s Savita in the 54 kg bantamweight category. Both the boxers threw caution to the winds and traded mighty blows, but Savita managed to pull off the winning punch as she landed a flurry of punches in the dying seconds to outclass Banu in a 3-2 split verdict to win the bout.
Last year’s silver medallist Nupur (75 kg), representing Haryana and making a comeback to the ring after the Asian Championship, also began her campaign with an easy 5-0 win over Rajasthan’s Shweta. Madhya Pradesh’s Jigyasa Rajput (81 kg), a bronze medallist from the previous edition, also started on a winning note as she defeated Uttarakhand’s Babita 5-0.
In the 64 kg category, Chandigarh’s Neema showed superb form and fitness to notch up a win against Sarmila Rai of Sikkim. Sarmila was no match for her opponent as she conceded a series of punches thus forcing the referee to stop the contest in the first round itself. Monika (51 kg), Ritu (57 kg) and Manju (60 kg) were the other boxers to win from Chandigarh as 5 pugilists from the region moved into the next round.
While a total of 52 bouts were held on Tuesday, Punjab’s Mandeep Kaur Sandhu blanked Uttar Pradesh’s Shilpa Baliyan 5-0 in the featherweight category. After being cautious in the first round and gauging the opponent’s strategy, Mandeep showed some cheeky movement and measured footwork to control the bout in the last two rounds and pocket the match. Punjab’s Gagandeep Kaur (69 kg) and Kamaljeet Kaur (51 kg) also notched up easy wins.
The pugilists will be competing in all the ten weight categories – 48kg, 51kg, 54kg, 57kg, 60kg, 64kg, 69 kg, 75 kg, 81kg and +81kg as the team from Ladakh is participating for the first time, thereby validating the Boxing Federation of India (BFI)’s efforts to promote boxing in every corner of the country.
The preliminary matches will be held on the first four days followed by the knockout stage starting from December 6. The final matches will take place on December 8.