India had a mixed bag of results at the boxing arena of the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday. Six-time World champion and London Olympics bronze medallist M.C. Mary Kom won her first-round match, while World Championship bronze medallist Manish Kaushik exited despite putting up a valiant show.
Beginning her quest for a second Olympics medal, Mary warded off a strong challenge from Dominican Republic’s Miguliena Garcia to record a 4-1 win and reach the women’s 51kg pre-quarterfinals.
She will take on Olympic Games bronze medallist and third seed Ingrit Valencia of Colombia.
Competing against an opponent 15 years younger, the 38-year-old Mary boxed from a distance and moved around nicely to land the perfect head jabs. Miguliena replied by delivering a few straight punches in the first round.
Tokyo Olympics: India highlights: Mary Kom, Manika Batra win; Manish Kaushik, G. Sathiyan knocked out
Mary stepped up her attack through her jabs and combination of punches, while Garcia countered strongly in the second round.
After staying ahead with an identical 3-2 verdict in two rounds, Mary connected a few clean shots to have a clear advantage in the third. Miguel gave her best before bowing out of the Olympics.
Manish went down fighting 4-1 against European silver medallist and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Luke McCormack of Great Britain in a 63kg opening round.
McCormack displayed his beautiful combinations against Manish’s single shots, mostly aimed at his rival’s body, to take the first round 3-2.
Manish switched gears to mix his powerful head and body shots and stay ahead 3-2 in the next. The Britain boxer won the duel after the closely-fought final round that witnessed trading of blows from both opponents.
McCormack will face third seed and two-time World champion Andy Cruz of Cuba in the next round.