- Mary Kom beat Nikhat Zareen in the Indian Open Boxing tournament semifinals by 4-1.
- The 36-year-old was 'irritated' by the latter's comments.
- Indian men's boxers have progressed to as many as 7 categories.
Six-time world champion Mary Kom tamed the promising Nikhat Zareen in a split decision to barge into the finals of the women’s 51kg category. On the other hand, the men pugilists also dominated the ring with as many as 7 categories with all-Indian gold-medal clashes in the India Open on Thursday.
In what was the day’s most-anticipated bout, Telangana’s former world junior champion Nikhat demonstrated aggressive instincts to beat her ‘idol’ Mary Kom. However, the experienced pugilist was who was content with playing patiently before taking the upper hand when it mattered. Kom won by a split decision of 4-1.
Making her competitive 51 kg debut at home, the 36-year-old took some blows at the start but quickly replied with sharp punches. Nikhat didn’t seemed to be in touch with her punches as the bout wore off. Mary Kom’s mammoth experience was too hot to handle for Nikhat, a Strandja Memorial gold winner.
The victory sees Mary Kom enter the finals. She will face Mizoram’s Vanlal Duati in the gold-medal bout on Friday.
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Mary Kom Furious Over Nikhat
After her 4-1 victory over Nikhat, Mary Kom on Thursday asked her opponent Nikhat Zareen to prove herself in the ring rather that making ‘irritating’ comments.
Mary was speaking in context to Nikhat’s comments in the media that she was excited to play against her ‘idol’ and she that would “put up a strong fight by using her brain” in the India Open 51kg semifinals.
“Every bout is a new experience for me. Even I don’t know who this girl is. I’ve been fighting since many years now. I clearly want to say I don’t want all this. It has come out in the newspapers that she’s challenging me,” Mary Kom said after defeating Nikhat to enter the 51 kg final.
“First you prove inside the ring and then speak out (against me). She has won just one medal at the international level and such is her ego and attitude! They feel proud and satisfied. This is a very bad habit,” the London Olympics bronze medallist added.
“How many years I’ve competed for the country? And how many times I’ve proved? It’s better to say in a mild way. They are so lucky fighting with me. They will get more experience,” she continued.
However, Mary Kom said that Nikhat’s comments made her even more determined.
“I was so surprised to read her comments in the newspaper. It’s so irritating. How can they say all this. Yes, everyone has the right to say and anyone can challenge. But I’m also a human being. It causes a lot of disturbance. Never mind, it made me more determined to do well.”
Men’s Boxers Dominate
Sachin Siwach continued his dream run in the competition by registering another upset win over reigning Commonwealth Games champion Gaurav Solanki. The former world youth champion won by a unanimous decision of 5-0 to set up a mouth-watering 51 kg gold medal clash against Asian Games gold medalist Amit Panghal.
Amit Panghal, for his part, beat national champion PL Prasad in the second semifinal unanimously. The pugilist had won a gold at the Jakarta Asian Games last year in the 49kg category.
“Amit has improved a lot of late but this is my big chance to show my prowess at a major competition. I hope to give my best and return winner,” Siwach, who won a bronze at the GeeBee Boxing tournament in Finland in March, said.
Shiva Thapa too remains on course to win a gold at the same venue where he became the national champion 3 years ago. The pugilist put off his Polish opponent D Krystian Sczepanski to emerge as a 5-0 winner.