Indian boxing star and Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain started her IBA Women's World Boxing Championships sojourn on a winning note when she won her opening round bout in style in Istanbul on Monday.
This was Lovlina Borgohain's first competitive international match since her Tokyo Olympics bronze medal-winning match.
The 24-year-old star Indian boxer dished out a splendid showing to secure a 3-2 win against former world champion Chen Nien-Chin in the 70kg opening round bout.
The Chinese Taipei boxer entered the match with a 3-1 head-to-head record. She defeated the Indian in the 2018 World Championships semi-final. On the other hand, Lovlina’s only win against Chen came in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics quarter-final enroute to her bronze medal-winning triumph.
Lovlina Borgohain makes the right moves
Both boxers started off cautiously and maintained distance from each other at the start.
Making her first outing on the international circuit after heroics at the Tokyo Olympics, the boxer from Assam showed no signs of rustiness and hit some timely punches.
The intensely-fought second and final saw both the boxers exchanging heavy punches.
Chen, who won gold and bronze medals in 2018 and 2016 respectively at the World Championships, tried attacking but Lovlina Borgohain managed to block with a good defensive technique to tilt the result of the nail-biting match in her favor.
Lovlina Borgohain will next play Cindy Ngamba of the Fair Chance Team in the round-of-16 match on Friday.
Other Indian boxing stars in action
On the second day of the IBA Women's World Boxing Championship, Nitu will be the lone Indian boxer in action. Nitu will begin her challenge in the 48kg opening round against Romania’s Steluta Duta.
Four Indians — Shiksha (54kg), Manisha (57kg), Ankushita (66kg) and Nandini (+81kg) — have been handed a bye in their respective opening rounds.
With a record participation of 310 boxers from 73 countries across the world, this year’s event also marks the 20th anniversary of the prestigious event which will be played till May 20.
In the last edition of the IBA Women's World Boxing Championships held in Russia in 2019, the Indian boxers clinched one silver and three bronze medals.
India’s tally of 36 medals, including nine gold, eight silver and 19 bronze, so far in the 11 editions of the tournament is the third highest after Russia (60) and China (50).