New Delhi, July 27 (IANS) Six-time World Championship gold medallist Mary Kom (51kg) and former World Championships bronze medallist Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) had to stave off tough challenges in the semi-finals as a total of nine boxers made it to the finals at the 23rd Presidents Cup in Labuan Bajo in Indonesia on Saturday.
Fresh from winning the gold at the India Open two months ago, the Indian boxing queen participated in this prestigious tournament with the aim of testing herself and getting some much-needed bouts under the belt ahead of the World Championships in October.
Mary was made to sweat it out by Vietnam’s Anh vo Thi Kim with the Indian eventually registering a 3-2 win. She will be continuing her gold quest against Australia’s Franks April on Sunday.
India’s other star pugilist, Bidhuri, also laboured to a tough 3-2 win over Philippines’ Ogayre Junmilardo while 2017 Ulaanbaatar Cup gold medallist Ankush Dahiya too notched up a victory by an identical scoreline over Korea’s Giheon You in 64kg.
2017 Simon Prestige Memorial tournament bronze medallist Neeraj Swami showed his resolve to eke out a gritty 3-2 win over Indonesia’s Langu Kornelis K.
Among the men, only Ananta Pralhad Chopade (52kg) had a breezy win as he outpunched Sri Lanka’s Dharmasena Piyal 5-0 to progress into the final.
India Open gold medallist Jamuna Boro (54kg) will take on Italy’s veteran boxer, Giulia Lamagna after a commanding 5-0 win over Kase Serlin Alin Liliwati of Indonesia.
Earlier, World Championships bronze medallist Simranjit Kaur (60kg) and GeeBee Boxing silver medallist Dinesh Dagar (69kg) had already confirmed their places in the final of this event. Asian Boxing Championships silver medallist Simranjit was flawless in her first bout of this prestigious tournament and outpunched Italy’s Francesca Martusciello 5-0 in a commanding performance to enter the final against Indonesia’s Asian Games bronze medallist Hasanah Huswatun.
Dagar, a silver medallist at the 2018 India Open, had a convincing 5-0 victory over Indonesian Naumeo Defri for a meeting with Samada Saputra in the title clash.
In 48kg, Monika ended the challenge of Indonesia’s Niis Anggelina 5-0 to book her place in the final against Endang of Indonesia.