Boxing news: World silver-medalist Sonia Lather crashes out, while Sarjubala Devi advances
The National Women’s Boxing Championships in Haridwar on Monday saw contrasting fortunes for two World Championship silver medallists. While Sonia Lather suffered a shock defeat in the second round, the other silver-medalist, Sarjubala Devi, secured a win against Mizoram’s Rebecca Lal to advance to the quarterfinals.
Sonia (57 kgs) who represented the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB), lost 1-2 against Uttarakhand’s Kamala Bist, bringing forth the first major upset of a tournament that is otherwise panning out as per expectations.
Despite a dominating performance in her bout, Sonia was unable to get the judges’ decision in her favour, as opposed to her equally aggressive rival. On the other hand, Sarjubala Devi competing for Manipur in the light flyweight (51kg) category, put on aggressive display against Rebecca Lal.
Although Lal tried to match her punch-for-punch in the initial phase and even gained the upper hand, she failed to sustain the same intensity through the course of the encounter. This meant that Sarjubala, who tightened her defence and landed some heavy punches in the final round, got the judge’s nod 2-1 after the four-rounder.
The gold medal favourite will next lock horns against Delhi’s Pooja Tokas, who defeated Tamil Nadu’s K Nivedita 3-0.
“I wanted to preserve myself. I was careful not to injure myself so early in the event,” the 23-year-old boxer was quoted as saying to The Hindu.
In other bouts, it was a pretty much one-sided contest for former Junior World Champion, Nikhat Zareen (51kg) of Telangana, who comprehensively overcame Rajasthan’s Jyoti 3-0 to enter the quarterfinals.
Another former World Championships silver-medallist Saweety Boora (81kg), put on skilled display featuring excellent uppercuts, in a bid to erase her height disadvantage and sail past her rival Ninderjit Kaur of Punjab.
Former Asian silver-medallist Pavitra (64kg) also made the cut to the last eight, by scoring a technical knockout in the third round of her pre-quarterfinal bout against Haridwar’s local favourite Nivedita. She is all set to lock horns against Punjab’s Simranjeet Kaur in the quarterfinals.
Manipur’s Sandhya Rani who had outpunched former two-time World Championships bronze medallist Chhoto Laura in the opening round continued her rampant form to enter the quarters.
In other matches, Delhi’s Akansha Mishra, Haryanvi boxer Jyoti and Mohini from Maharashtra out skilled their rivals, all with a similar scoreline of 2-1. Whilst, in another technical knockout A. Manisha from Andhra Pradesh, defeated Nila M of Pondicherry to reach the second round.