Dubai: The six-time world champion Mary Kom and defending champion Amit Panghal are among the seven Indian pugilists who will play in the finals of the 2021 Asian Boxing Championships, here.
While the seasoned campaigner Mary Kom alongside Pooja Rani (75kg), Anupama (+81kg) and Lalbuatsahi (64kg) will play their respective final bouts on Sunday, Panghal, Shiva Thapa (64kg) and Sanjeet (91kg) will be in action on Monday.
At the on-going prestigious Championships, which is jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation, Indian contingent have already ensured their best-ever show by securing unprecedented 15 medals and bettered previous highest of 13 medals (2 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze) achieved during the 2019 edition.
Aiming for the sixth gold medal in just seven appearances, veteran Mary Kom will face a stiff challenge from the two-time world champion Kazakh boxer Nazym Kyzaibay in the 51kg final.
Another Olympic-bound Pooja Rani, who received a walk-over in the semi-finals, will fight against an in-form Mavluda Movlonova of Uzbekistan, who ended the challenge of London Olympics medallist Marina Volnova in the last-4 stage.
On the other hand, Lalbuatsaihi and Anupama will also face strong Kazakh boxers in their respective finals.
In the men’s section, Panghal will look to defend his title when he will be up against the Rio Olympics and world champion Uzbek pugilist Zoirov Shakhobidin of Uzbekistan in the gold medal match on Monday.
Assam boxer Thapa, who has been impressive and the joint most successful male boxer in the Championships with five consecutive medals, will be challenged by the Asian Games silver medallist Mongolia’s Baatarsukh Chinzorig.
Second seeded Sanjeet will fight against the Rio Olympics silver medallist Vassiliy Levit, who is chasing his fourth gold medal of the Asian Championships.
Eight Indian pugilists Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Jaismine (57kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (64kg), Monika (48kg), Saweety (81kg) and Varinder Singh (60kg) secured bronze medals with their semi-final finish at the event.
The International Boxing Association, AIBA has allocated USD 4,00,000 prize money for the on-going Championships.
The gold medallists of men’s and women’s categories will be awarded with USD 10,000 while both the silver and bronze medal winners will take home USD 5,000 and 2,500 respectively.
The event has witnessed the presence of 150 boxers from 17 countries including strong boxing nations such as India, Uzbekistan, Philippines and Kazakhstan.