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Gritty Mary Kom overcomes Miguliena; Manish goes down fighting

Indian boxer Mary Kom in action with Miguelina Hernandez Garcia of the Dominican Republic, during their women's flyweight 51-kg boxing match at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Sunday, July 25, 2021, in Tokyo, Japan.   | Photo Credit: PTI

India had a mixed day in the boxing ring on Sunday as six-time World champion and 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist M.C. Mary Kom won her first round match, while World Championships bronze medallist Manish Kaushik exited after a valiant show.

Beginning her quest for a second Olympics medal, Mary warded off a strong challenge from Dominican Republic’s Miguliena Garcia to record a 4-1 win and reach the women’s 51kg pre-quarterfinals.

Mary will take on 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medallist and third seed Ingrit Valencia of Colombia.

Competing against an opponent 15 years younger, the 38-year-old Mary displayed slick footwork and landed head shots on Miguliena in the first round even as the latter replied with a few straight punches.

In the second, Mary stepped up the attack through jabs and combination punches which were countered well by Miguliena.

After staying ahead by 3-2 margins in the opening two rounds, Mary came out all guns blazing in the final round, connecting a few solid punches. They were enough to snuff out Miguliena's challenge. 

Manish went down fighting 4-1 to 2017 European silver medallist and 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Luke McCormack of Great Britain in a 63kg opening round bout.

McCormack's full range was on view compared to Manish’s single shots, mostly aimed at his rival’s body, as he took the first round 3-2.

Manish switched gears, mixing his powerful head and body shots and finishing 3-2 ahead in the next.

After a closely fought final round, that witnessed blows from both opponents, it was the British boxer who finished on top.

McCormack will face third seed and two-time World champion Andy Cruz of Cuba in the next round.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 2:59:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/mary-kom-enters-olympic-pre-quarters-manish-bows-out-after-hard-fought-loss-in-opening-round/article35522063.ece

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