Manipur star boxer M C Mary Kom stormed into the final of India Open International Boxing Tournament winning her semi-final bout on Wednesday.
The five time world champion led a formidable Indian contingent of 10 men and eight women, including her compatriot from the north-eastern state, L Sarita Devi into the finals of the tournament.
However, Assam’s Shiva Thapa crashed out of the semi-finals courtesy a minor wrist injury.
Mary Kom was a bit shaky in the opening round against her taller and stronger Mongolian opponent Altansetseg Lutsaikhan in the light-fly category. She promptly changed her strategy in the second round to turn the bout to her favour.
She started her fight from close quarters, but realized very soon that it wasn’t a good tactic against the aggressive Mongolian, who intelligently took advantage of her height, reach and power.
In the next rounds, the Manipuri pugilist decided to maintain a safe distance, before launching into short-burst attacks.
That was the turning point that threw the Mongolian out of her rhythm and Mary started picking points and eventually won the bout 4-1.
Mary will face Josie Gabuco from Philippines, who is considered as an impressive all-round boxer, in the final.
Sarita overpowered her Indian counterpart Priyanka Choudhary 4-1 in the light-weight category to reach the final.
Sarita will fight aggressive pugilist Mira Marjut from Finland in the final in her category.