Women’s World Boxing C’ship: Mary Kom storms into 48 kg final, headed for sixth gold

New Delhi: Five-time world champion MC Mary Kom stormed into the final of the 48 kilogram light flyweight category after thrashing North Korean Kim Hyang Mi 5:0 by unanimous verdict in the AIBA Women’s World Championships at the packed KD Jadhav Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday.

She is, without a doubt, one of the most successful woman pugilists in the event’s history. Mary Kom entered the event with a remarkable tally of five gold medals and a silver to her credit. She had previously clinched the gold medal on five occasions — 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 — besides bagging a silver on her debut in 2001. She last won a world championship medal in 2010 — a 48kg category gold.

Before this World Championships, the Manipuri was tied with Irish legend Katie Taylor (five gold and a bronze) on the number of medals won. Taylor now plies her trade in the professional circuit.

Thursday’s semi-final bout got off with a rousing welcome for the seasoned Indian boxer, as Mary started with swift movements and successfully negated the height advantage of her rival.

India’s Mary Kom exchanges punches with Hyang Kim of Peoples Republic of Korea in 45-48kg category during the AIBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI)

While the North Korean came back aggressively in the second round, Mary was quick enough to reserve her punches before coming up with a right arm jab to tame her opponent.

In the third and final round, Kim tried using her height and long reach but Mary used all her experience to thwart any challenge.

The 35-year-old Manipuri pugilist, who is still tied with Katie Taylor of Ireland on five gold medals, has an opportunity to become the most successful woman boxer if she beats Ukraine’s Hanna Okhota in the final.

“I will try my best in the final. I fought with this girl in Poland and I have beaten her. I will try my best inside the ring,” Mary said after her semi-final bout.

(With agency inputs)