Indian boxers begin India Open with easy wins

New Delhi: India’s boxers began the SpiceJet India Open International Boxing tournament on a promising note, winning their opening bouts on Day 1 at the Thyagraj Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.

Nikhat Zareen, bronze medalist at the recently held Senior Women’s Nationals at Rohtak, provided the first upset too, beating compatriot and fourth-seeded Neeraj in the fly-weight category.

Nikhat showed more aggression and threw in a flurry of combinations to take charge of the bout. Neeraj fought back, attacking Nikhat’s jaw and midriff but with lesser success than desired.

Nikhat used the square well, exploiting the openings in Neeraj’s defense to launch a series of punches that won her the day and a split points decision 3-2.

Pinki Rani too impressed during her fight against Meenakshi, in another all-Indian flyweight clash. She was compact and had power in her mits as she ducked, weaved and exploded with power. She threw her jabs, hooks and straight rights with clinical precision to outclass her opponent.

Though Meenakshi proved to be a game fighter, she fell short of matching her more accomplished opponent to go down 1-4 on points.

The first Indian to take the ring in the men’s section, Sanjeet, appeared to have met a strong opponent in Kazakhstan’s Rakhmanov Ongtalap.

The strapping orthodox Kazakh pugilist had power in his gloves and threatened to pound Sanjeet into submission. However, the opening flurry was just a flash in the pan, as the Indian recovered from the early surprise, and using his long reach and power-packed punches rocked the Kazakh. His successive punches and jabs to the head and face, all through the bout, gave him a convincing 4-1 victory in the heavyweight division.

Cameroon’s Clotilde Essaine packed too many guns for Panama’s Bylon Theyna to log a fluent 4-1 win in the women’s middleweight category while Kenya’s Andiego Elizabeth Edhiam surprised powerhouse Mongolia’s Munkhbat Myagmarjargal in another middleweight bout.

Day 1 Session 1 Results :

Women Fly (48-51 KG): Ochirbat Jargalan (Mgl) bt Rai Mala (Npl) 5:0; Zareen Nikhat (Ind) bt Neeraj (Ind) 3:2; Rani Pinki (Ind) bt Meenakshi (Ind) 4:1; Rakshat Chuthamat (Tha) bt Azizah Ainun (Ina) 5:0;

Women Feather (54-57 KG): Jembay Christian Marwam (Ina) bt Haidari Nelofar (Afg) W/O; Y.Sandhyarani (Ind) bt Monkhor Namuun (Mgl) 3:2;

Women Middle (69-75 KG): Clotilde Essiane (Cmr) bt Bylon Atheyna (Pan) 4:1; Boora Saweety (Ind) bt Indraja K A (Ind) 5:0; Andiego Elizabeth Edhiam (Ken) bt Munkhbat Myagmarjargal (Mgl) 3:2;