Mary Kom won her fifth Asian Boxing Championships title by beating Korea’s Hyang Mi Kim on Wednesday. In a fiercely-contested final in Ho Chi Min City, Mary Kom won by 5-0 unanimous decision ending her gold medal drought in international competitions since Asian Games 2014.
The five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist, unlike her previous bouts, got a competitive rival. The earlier bouts, Mary used the opening three minutes were invariably spent measuring up the rival, but on Wednesday both the Mary Kom and Hyang Mi were lunging at each other within seconds of the bell going off. Mary Kom scored for her ringcraft, which included some fine footwork to outpace Hyang Mi at crucial junctures.
There was hardly any power-hitting on display but the contest was made engaging by the boxers’ fast-paced exchange of punches. The North Korean was relentless with her left hooks but the Manipuri did not allow herself to be rattled and scored on counter-attack with her combination blows.
Mary Kom had reached the final after beating Japan’s Tsubasa Komura with a unanimous 5-0 verdict. Although 48 kg has been her preferred weight category, Mary Kom has been competing in the 51 kg category for the past five years.
(With PTI inputs)