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Women’s Boxing is often idolized by the Queen of the Boxing Ring in India and the 6-time World Championship Gold Medalist , Mary Kom. She’s been the mentor, the motivation for thousands of Indian girls to step out of their home comforts, step out of the stereotypical norms set for the women in India and dawn the Boxing Rings. But the gospel of Women’s Boxing doesn’t stop there. Tokyo Olympics 2021, brought to you another Champion, a fearless beast who would knock out the opponent in the ring at any cost, Lovlina Borgohain.
But the unending list of Women stalwarts doesn’t end here. Be it the reigning World Champion Nikhat Zareen or the Commonwealth Star Pooja Rani, Women’s Boxing has been at its zenith for the past 10 years and continues to excel.
IBA Women’s World Boxing Championship at Home this Year
The Indian soil has given the World some extremely ferocious boxers. Be it the Vijendra Singh saga in the 2008 Olympics or the Mary Kom tag that continues to dominate the World, Indian Boxers have always made us proud. With India being the host for the 2023 Women’s World Boxing Championship, the 13th edition of this Boxing festival has started well for the Indians, with boxers competing in 12 different categories from across 65 nations. Though the fans could sense some melancholy, due to Mary Kom’s unrecovered Injury before the Championship; Lovlina, Nikhat and Sakshi are some starts to look out for.
The prestigious competition has previously taken place in India twice, in 2006 and 2018, both times in New Delhi, since it began in 2001. In addition, India hosted the Women’s Young World Championships in Guwahati in 2017.
To date, India has managed to bag 39 medals, including 10 golds, in the 12 editions of the championship so far. From the IBA Boxing Championship last held in 2018 in India, India clinched 4 medals hosting 277 boxers from 62 countries.
As of now, India has done fairly well in the Tournament, as we advance to the last day of Pre-Quarters today in the evening at K.D Jadhav Indoor Hall, New Delhi.
Lovlina Borgohain and Sakshi Enter Quarters Unanimously, Preeti misses out by a whisker
The evergreen memory of Lovlina Borogohain bagging a Bronze Medal in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics still happens to send chills down our spine to date. The way this queen fought in the Quarter Finals that day and the “Bhartiya Naari” blood once again in front of the whole world, was phenomenal.
Since then there has been no looking back. The Commonwealth Games 2022, didn’t turn out to be in her favour, but yesterday Lovlina proved herself yet again by showering some merciless jabs and hooks at Mexican professional boxer Citlalli Ortiz in her first 75kg Bout, defeating her 5-0.
The story turned out to be pretty same for the Two times World Champion and the unspoken Hero Sakshi Chaudhary who outwitted the opponent, to book herself a place in the Quarter Finals.
The young and upcoming Boxer Preeti Sai Pawar also put up an extraordinary and valiant fight against Thailand’s Jutamas Jitpong, who happens to be two times World Championship Silver Medallist, but lost a closely fought battle 3-4.
Controversies and Way Ahead for the Women Boxers
The IBA World Boxing Championship hasn’t been devoid of Worldwide Controversies so far. 11 nations decided to boycott the competition due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022 as a result of the participation of athletes from Belarus and Russia. The International Olympic Committee’s suggestions were disregarded when it was decided to allow athletes from Russia and Belarus to compete while flying their national anthems.
Also, Due to alleged prejudice by the Indian authorities, Kosovo withdrew its competitors from the competition. Despite the Kosovo Boxing Federation being a full IBA member local organisers made the political decision to forbid the use of the Kosovo flag and national anthem at the competition, both in medal ceremonies and on team uniforms.
Though after the International Olympic Association(IOC) barring the International Boxing Association(IBA), due to “continued irregularity issues in the areas of finance, governance, ethics, refereeing, and judging.” rights to administer and organise the competition. As a result, the IOC executive board created and approved a new qualification scheme for Paris 2024, under which boxers would qualify for seats through continental multisport competitions, simplifying the procedure.
All the Indian fans and Boxing supporters worldwide can wish for, is the smooth conduct of the Tournament and wish the best to their Nation’s representatives.
With India’s star Boxers Nitu Ghanghas, Manisha and Sashi Chopra battling in the Round of 16 today, India would be looking forward towards positive results as Nikhat, Lovlina and Sakshi are just a win away from securing medals for India.