Manisha Moun makes spectacular debut

Women's boxing worlds Debutant Manisha stuns title contender

Rookie boxer Manisha Moun punched above her weight to outclass Christina Cruz of the United States in a unanimous verdict to advance to the 54kg pre-quarterfinals of the AIBA Women's World Championships here on Friday.

Moun, however, won't have it easy and will face another tough opponent in the next round - reigning world champion Dina Zholaman of Kazakhstan, who beat Muzuki Hiruta of Japan 4-1.

The 20-year-old Haryana boxer, who was making her debut in the World Championships, was in complete control during the whole of first round against the American, who is nearly twice her age.

The five judges were so impressed with Manisha, that the unanimous verdict (29-28, 30-27, 30-26, 30-26, 29-28) was very much on the cards. "However, once I was recognised publicly, I got a lot of support from the government and the Sports Authority of India (SAI), I would like to thank the government for this", she said.

"I lost to her (Manisha) in Poland but that is boxing, it happens".

Her opponent Brugger, on the other hand, does not have a formidable reputation.

L Sarita, would be eyeing her second gold at home but to do that she will have to beat the likes of defending world champion Yang Wenlu of China and Rio Olympics bronze medallist Anastasia Beliakova of Russian Federation.

"I have beaten her in Poland". However, it was the standing count that Brugger received in the second round that turned the bout in Sarita's favour.

In the third round, Sarita showed signs of getting slow as fatigue crept in but dug into her experience to coast through to the pre-quarters. Sarita admitted after the bout that it was an unpredictable bout and she was having difficulty controlling Brugger. I will give my best and let's see how far I can go.

With her stamina level dropping in the final round, the Indian held her guard tight and banked on occasional counter-attacks to emerge as the victor. "Under the new points system, you need to have a proper guard and combination of punches to fetch points".

Sarita dedicated the win to the people of Manipur who had contributed financially to pay the fine after she was banned for one year in 2014 following the Incheon Asian Games controversy in which she refused to accept the bronze medal at the victory ceremony. The fine that AIBA imposed on me was then collected by all people of Manipur.

60kg: Mira Potkonen (Fin) bt Ajna Stridsman (Aus) 3-2, Sudaporn Seesondee (Tha) bt Stacia Suttles (USA) 3-2, Yeonji Oh (Kor) bt Beatriz Ferreira (Bra) 3-2, Paige Murney (Eng) bt Irma Testa (Ita) 3-2, Agnes Alexiusson (Swe) bt Ditte Frostholm (Den) 5-0, Karina Ibragimova (Kaz) bt Imane, Anastasiia Beliakova (Rus) bt Elisa Williams (Pan) 5-0.

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