Pooja Rani through to the quarterfinal, Lovlina loses in last 16

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Two-time Asian Champion Pooja Rani (81kg) advanced to the quarterfinals at the 12th edition of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul on Friday, after she beat Timea Nagy of Hungary by unanimous decision.

Pooja, who was playing her first international bout since the Tokyo Olympics was aggressive from the first bell and was landing accurate punches while moving swiftly in the ring. She looked in complete control throughout the bout and registered a commanding 5-0 victory to move to the next round.

The Bhiwani-native will take on Australia’s Jessica Bagley in the quarterfinal on Monday.

Tokyo Olympic bronze-medallist Lovlina Borgohain (70kg) though ended her campaign at the World Championships as she went down fighting against Cindy Ngamba of Fair Chance Team in the round-of-16 bout. Lovlina played from the distance and tried to counter attack but Cindy went on to secure a 4-1 split verdict in her favour over the 24-year-old.

World Youth Champion in 2017 Nitu (48kg) and 2019 Asian Championships bronze medallist Manisha (57kg) will play their respective pre-quarterfinal bouts on Saturday. Nitu will face Spain’s Lopez Del Arbol while Manisha will square off against Bulgaria’s Svetlana Staneva for a place in the quarter-final.

Indian boxers have won 36 medals, including nine gold, eight silver and 19 bronze, in the 11 previous editions of the tournament, which is the third highest after Russia (60) and China (50). In the last edition of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, held in Russia in 2019, Indians concluded with one silver and three bronze medals.

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