Tokyo Olympics boxing: Tough draw for Mary Kom, Amit Panghal gets a bye

Pooja Rani and Vikas Krishan will face tough opponents too even as four of the nine Indian boxers have received a bye in their respective opening rounds.

By Ritu Sejwal

Six-time world champion and 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist MC Mary Kom’s road to another Olympic medal looks anything but easy when she dons the Indian jersey one last time at Tokyo’s Ryōgoku Kokugikan arena.

Mary Kom, competing in the women’s flyweight (51kg) category, is likely to face third seed and Rio Olympic bronze medallist Ingrit Valencia of Colombia in the round of 16 (July 29).

Second seed Yuan Chang of China, who won the gold medal at the Olympic boxing qualifiers in Jordan last year, could be Mary Kom’s semi-final (August 4) opponent.

The 38-year-old veteran will start as a favourite against her first-round opponent Dominica’s Miguelina Hernandez on Sunday.

In the men’s flyweight (51kg) category, top-seed Amit Panghal has got a first round bye and will face either Colombia's Rivas Martinez or Botswana's Ro Mahommed in his round of 16 on July 31.

The world boxing silver medallist and current world No.1, Amit Panghal is likely to face a stiff challenge from Algeria’s Mohamed Flissi, fourth seed, only if he reaches the semi-finals (August 5).

Vikas Krishan will face stiff competition to realise his dream of winning an Olympic medal. Japan’s Okazawa Quincy Mensah will be Krishan’s first opponent (July 24) in the middleweight (69kg) category. Tokyo 2020 will be the boxer’s third Olympics.

Two-time Olympic medallist Roniel Iglesias of Cuba is in line to be Krishan’s second round opponent (July 27). If the Indian manages to win, the 2010 Asian Games gold medallist will be up against second seed Andrei Zamkovoi of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) on August 1.

Algeria’s Ichrak Chaib will be Pooja Rani’s first hurdle in the women’s 75kg (July 28). In the quarterfinal (July 31), Pooja could meet Rio Olympics bronze medallist and second seed Li Qian of China.

If Pooja Rani, a two-time Asian champion, advances, her semi-final opponent will be Netherland’s Nouchka Fontijn, fourth seed and Rio Olympics silver medallist.

In the men’s lightweight (63kg) category, Manish Kaushik will be up against Luke McCormack of Great Britain on July 25. His next opponent could be third seed Cuba’s Andy Cruz on July 31.

Meanwhile, Simranjit Kaur (women’s lightweight 60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (welterweight 69kg) and Satish Kumar (men’s super heavyweight +91kg) have got first-round byes. Satish will start with a round of 16 bout with Jamaica’s Ricardo Brown

Indian boxing draw for Tokyo Olympics

Women

Mary Kom vs Miguelina Hernandez (flyweight 51kg)

Simranjit Kaur - first round bye (lightweight 60kg)

Lovlina Borgohain - first round bye (welterweight 69kg)

Pooja Rani vs Ichrak Chaib (middleweight 75kg)

Men

Amit Panghal - first round bye (flyweight 52kg)

Manish Kaushik vs Luke McCormack (lightweight 63kg)

Vikas Krishan vs Okazawa Quincy Mensah (welterweight 69kg)

Ashish Kumar vs Tuoheta Erbieke (middleweight 75kg)

Satish Kumar - first round bye (super heavyweight +91kg)