Know the winners: The 15 Indian boxers who won a medal at the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships

This was India's best-ever medal haul at the marquee Asian event
By Soham Mukherjee

Sanjeet and Pooja Rani stole the limelight by winning gold at the ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai, which concluded on Monday.

India finished the campaign with 15 medals including two gold, five silver, and eight bronze at the championships which was jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation. This ensured that they bettered the performance of the 2019 edition in Bangkok where they won 13 medals.

London 2012 medal winner Mary Kom had to settle for a silver after she was narrowly beaten in the finals.

"This has been a challenging year for all of us and despite all the uncertainties our boxers had to undergo, it is absolutely heartening to see them ending the Asian Championships campaign with 15 medals including 2 golds and some close decisions that of Amit Panghal and Mary Kom in the finals. Our boxers have yet again ensured a record-breaking feat and am extremely proud of each one of them,” stated BFI President Ajay Singh.

Let us take a look at the medal winners of the tournament.

Pooja Rani is all set to make her Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 after becoming the first boxer from India to qualify for the Games

Women's Team

Pooja Rani (75kg)

Boxer Pooja Rani won her second Asian Boxing Championship gold on Sunday when she beat Uzbekistan's Mavluda Movlonova 5-0 in a unanimous decision, which ensured India's first gold of this edition of the competition. She had previously won gold in the 81kg in 2019 and had bagged bronze in 2015 and silver in 2012 at the Asian Boxing Championships in the middleweight category.

Mary Kom (51kg)

The boxing legend bagged the silver medal in the competition after she was defeated by Kazakhstan's two-time world champion Nazym Kyzaibay in a hard-fought final via split decision (2-3). Both boxers were aggressive in their approach right from the start and unsettled each other with some heavy punches.

Mary Kom used her experience to stay in the contest but her rival successfully tilted the bout in her favour. It is the second silver at the Asian Championships for Mary Kom, who has won titles on five occasions - 2003, 2005, 2010, 2012, and 2017 and a silver in 2008.

Lalbuatsaihi (64kg)

The Mizo boxer is all about power and aggression. In the semi-finals, she overwhelmed Kuwait's Noura Almutairi with her fierce punches and just eighty seconds in the second round, the referee stopped the match. In the final, she met Kazakashthan's Milana Safronova and though he put up a spirited show, she lost 3-2 and had to settle for a silver in her debut campaign. She came into the team by a stroke of luck, replacing Pwilao Basumatary whose passport had expired and hence could not travel to Dubai.

Anupama (81+kg)

Anupama defeated Mokhira Abdullaeva (4-1) of Uzbekistan in the semi-finals to ensure a silver medal for her. In the finals, she met Kazakashthan's Lazzat Kungeibayeva but was beaten 3-2 in a match that could have gone either way.

Monika (48kg)

Monika started her campaign from the semi-final stage and hence was confirmed of a bronze medal. In the last four, she met second seed Alua Balkibekova of Kazakhastan and lost 5-0.

Sakshi Chaudhary (54kg)

The pugilist demolished Ruhafzo Haqazarova of Tajikistan 5-0 in the quarterfinal to set up a semifinal clash with top seed Dina Zholaman of Kazakhstan in the semifinal. She was initially adjudged the winner but Zholaman reviewed the last round and the jury upheld the claim and altered the result in favour of the Kazakh boxer.

Tokyo-bound Lovlina Borgohain finished with a bronze medal

Jasmine (57kg)

The featherweight category boxer came into the tournament after winning silver at the Boxam in Spain. She started brightly by defeating Mongolian Oyuntsetseg Yesugen 4-1 in the quarterfinals but was ousted in the semis after losing 5-0 to Vladislav Kukhta.

Simranjit Kaur (60kg)

The Tokyo-bound boxer defeated Raykhona Kodirova of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinals to ensure a bronze medal. In the semi-final, she went down 0-5 to Rimma Volossenko of Kazakhastan.

Lovlina Borgohain (69kg)

She was one of the boxers who started her campaign at the semifinal stage against Navabakhor Khamidova of Uzbekistan. Both the athletes were not giving an inch and were trading blows at every opportune moment. But the Indian went down in a 3-2 split decision to end with a bronze medal.

Saweety Boora (81kg)

Like Lovlina, she also fought her first bout in the semifinal stage which ensured her a bronze medal. However, she had a bad day at the office and lost 5-0 to Fariza Sholtay of Kazakhstan.

Sanjeet in action during his win over Rio Olympic silver medallist Vassiliy Levit of Kazakhstan at ASBC Asian Championships in Dubai.

Men's team

Sanjeet (91kg)

After receiving a walkover in the quarters, he took on Tursunov Sanjar of Uzbekistan. He crushed his opponent 5-0 and set up a date with five-time Asian Championship medallist and Rio Olympic silver medallist Vassiliy Levit in the final. He put up an impressive show and won the bout 4-1 to secure India's second gold in the competition.

Amit Phangal (52kg)

The Indian boxer was unstoppable in the semis and he out-punched Kazakhastan's Saken Bibossinov 5-0 in the semifinals. He then went on to face reigning Olympic and world champion Shakhobodin Zoirov of Uzbekistan in the final. After an intense fight, he lost 3-2. The Indian team had lodged a protest against the result but the jury commission did not accept it and he had to remain content with a silver.

Shiva Thapa (64 kg)

The boxer stormed into the semis after a convincing 5-0 win over Nader Odah. He went up against top seed Bakhodur Usmonov of Tajikistan and beat him 4-0 in a one-sided fight. In the finals, he was beaten by the 2018 Asain Games silver medallist Baatarsukh Chinzorig of Mongolia, and had to settle for the silver medal.

Varinder Singh (60kg)

Varinder punched down Samuel Dela Cruz of the Philippines 5-0 in the quarters to secure a semi-final berth. However, he lost to Iran's Daniyal Shahbaksh in a close-fought bout (3-2) and to bag the bronze medal.

Vikas Krishan Yadav (69kg)

World Champion bronze medallist Vikas Krishnan defeated Iran's Moslem Malamir 4-1 in the semi-finals. In the finals, he went up against top seed and defending champion Baturov Bobo-Usmon. Unfortunately, he had sustained an injury above his eye while fighting Malamir, and that troubled him again in the finals. The doctor examined the cut and stopped the bout in the third minute of the first round. However, on the basis of points scored till then, he lost in a split verdict.