The penultimate round of the 13th Senior Women’s National Boxing Championship presented by the Monnet Ispat and Energy Limited and the Indian glove women battled hard with purpose and gusto to stake a claim for the National title. The field of contention got tougher with each bout with the likes of 2012 World Championship bronze medallist Kavita Chahal (+81kg) of All India Police, Guangzhou Asian Games bronze medallist Kavita Goyat (75kg) of Haryana along with silver medal winners at the 2012 Asian Championships Pooja Rani (75kg) of RSPB, Sonia Lather (54kg) of Haryana, Monica Saun (60kg) of Uttarakhand and Pinky Jangra (51kg) also of the Railways all cementing their place in the championship round. But it was curtains for team Manipur with reigning Youth World Champion Sarjubala Devi, the lone boxer who made it to the semi-finals, losing out to Mamta of Haryana.
Super heavy weight boxer and world number 5, Chahal was up against 2011 Asian Cup bronze medallist Laxmi Padiya of Jharkhand. The five time national champion made a sluggish start but soon gathered pace. With the beginning of the second round she packed some heavy punches, putting Padiya on the back foot. Her strong right cross broke through the defence of the Jharkhand boxer almost on every occasion. Kavita secured her spot in the finals by virtue of a victory on points (27-7). Chahal will battle against N Swapna Priya of the Railways in the finals - whom she beat in the quarter-finals last year – as she looks to claim her second consecutive gold at the Nationals.
The fight for the yellow metal in the middle weight division will witness 2011 Arafura Games silver medallist Pooja Rani take on 2012 Asian Games bronze medallist Kavita Goyat of Haryana. In the round of four, Rani was at her menacing best as she beat a languishing Poonam Mahant from Madhya Pradesh in a completely lop-sided contest. She needed less than two minutes to get rid of the MP boxer and cement her place in the finals. Goyat too had an easy route to the finals with a 26-7 victory on points over Poonam from All India Police.
In the bantam weight division former national champion and last year’s silver medallist Lather had to dig deep against some power punching from Assamese boxer Anjali Machahary, but in the end the veteran boxer came through in fine fashion; she beat the local girl 19-14 on points to advance into the finals, where she will lock horns with Meena Kumari of Nagaland. In the feather weight division, it was a bad day at office for seasoned boxer Mandakini Chann representing AIP. The 27 year old came up short against 2010 Asian Championship bronze medallist Pavitra of the Railways team. Pavitra, a former national champion proved too strong from Chann with her cracking straight punches and combinations. The AIP boxer had to settle for a bronze medal finish with a 10-20 loss on points. Pavitra now takes on Youth World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Pwilao Basumatary of Assam, who overhauled Savita Rawat of Delhi in a superlative display of high octane boxing. In the light weight division both Monica Saun and Preeti Beniwal edged past their respective opponents to set up a title clash. While Saun drubbed Rumi Gogoi of Assam (10-6), Beniwal beat Priyanka Thakur of Punjab.
Kindly visit IABF official website (www.indiaboxing.in) for the completesemi-final results and the final line up.