Lovlina Borgohain punches out Mexican rival, reaches the quarter-final of Women’s World Boxing Championships

 It was a day of mixed luck for the Indian boxers at the ongoing International Boxing Association (IBA) Women’s World Boxing Championships on Monday. Lovlina Borgohain, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games bronze medalist, made a winning start to her campaign with a dominant victory over Mexico’s Vanessa Ortiz in New Delhi on Monday. Borgohain made it to the quarter-finals of the 75kg category after securing a 5-0 unanimous decision win over Ortiz.

Moments into her opening bout, Borgohain charged at her Mexican rival Ortiz and landed a big right hook to the face. That was, perhaps, the one and only effective aggressive move she executed, managing to seal a win by staying on the defensive. Competing in the 75kg for the first time at the world championships, the 25-year-old Indian boxer said she is making minor adjustments to make her punches more effective.

Taller boxers often enjoy greater reach and ease of movement against shorter counterparts, and the same was witnessed in the battle between Lovlina and Ortiz. With a height of 1.77m, Borgohain stayed strong on her back foot, conservative in attack, and waiting for the right opportunity to string clean jabs.

The opponent was shorter than me so it was a strategy to be defensive, Borgohain told the media. It was my first bout today so I am still getting into a rhythm. I had planned other things but could not do it all. I am not very happy with this performance. I think I can be better. The score was 5-0 but I expect better of myself, Lovlina explained.

The Indian boxer further added that it is a bit challenging because the other boxers are used to it and it’s her first world championship in 75kg and she will need a little more time. She concluded that the quarter-final match will be tougher.

Earlier in the day, Sakshi Chaudhary got the better of Zhazira Urakbayeva of Kazakhstan to progress to the last-eight stage of the 52kg category. But the most electrifying Indian performance of the day was displayed by Preeti (54kg). The youngster though eventually lost her bout to last year’s 52kg silver medallist Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas by a 4-3 verdict, the bout was so close that a review had to be taken.

Preeti entered the tournament on the back of a selection row, where her place in the side was questioned as she did not win the National Championships. However, the 19-year-old justified her place in the Indian team with her fearless performance.