Teenager Preeti Sai beats top seed Perijok

stay cool: In the 54kg category, Preeti pulled off a brilliant counter-attack against Perijoc of Romania. , Photo credit: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Nineteen-year-old Preeti Sai Pawar showed a brilliant combination of skill and maturity to surprise defending silver medalist and top seed Lacarmiora Perijok in a hard-fought second round bout in the 54kg World Women’s Boxing Championships at the KD Jadhav Hall here on Saturday.

Preeti edged past world No. 2 and 2019 European champion Romanian Perijoc 4-3 after bout review and will take on 2022 World silver medalist (52kg) Jutamas Jitpong of Thailand in the pre-quarterfinals.

Commonwealth Games champion Neetu Ghanghas (48kg), who returned to action after the lay-off, and national champion Manju Bamboriya (66kg) also won to spread cheer in the home camp.

Asian bronze medallist, Preeti produced a stellar performance in her second bout of her maiden World Championship. She won the opening round 3–2 after a heavy exchange of punches and trailed 2–3 in the next.

Backed by the partisan crowd, Preeti maintains her composure. Relying on her quick feet, the boxer from Haryana executed her counter-attacks well while maintaining her defense to emerge victorious in an action-packed third round.

“I worked hard, wanted to prove that I am not less than anyone. In the last round, I was taking a step back to avoid my opponent’s punches and counter-attacks,” said a confident Preeti.

raining punches

Neetu rained punches to take the initiative against Asian bronze medalist Doyon Kang of South Korea.

The two count on Doyon was good enough for the referee to stop the contest less than two minutes into the first round.

Neetu will face Tajikistan’s Sumaiya Kosimova in the pre-quarterfinals.

In her second world championship since 2019, tall southpaw Manju thrashed five-time New Zealand champion Cara Whareru 5-0.

In the last-16, he will face Asian champion and number-1 seed Navbakhor Khamidova.

Important Results (Preliminary Round):

48kg: Madoka Wada (JPN) bt Chien-Ling Liu (TPE) 5-0; Sumaiya Kosimova (TJK) 4-3; Neetu Ghanghas bt Doyen Kang RSC-R1; Iulia Chumagalkova (Rus) bt Nguyen Thi Hoi (V) bt 5-0; Farzona Fozilova (Uzb) b Roberta Bonatti (Ita) 5-0; Tansetseg Lutsaikhan (MGL) bt Rim Benama (Fra) 5-0; Leila Szelezki (HUN) bt Yasmine Muttaqi (MAR) 5-0.

54kg: Delphine Mancini (Fr) bt Estefany De Leon (Dom) 4-1; Karina Tazabekova (Rus) bt Regina Benilde (Moz) 3-1; Preeti Sai Pawar bt Lacramiara Perijoc 4-3; Jutamas Jitpong (Thailand) b Minu Gurung (Nepal) 5-0; Enkhjargal Mungantsetseg (MGL) bt Widad Bertal (MAR) 3-0; Tiana Ichegere (AUS) bt Hana Narita (JPN) 4-1; Iulia Korolyi (MDA) bt Fatima Hedjala (LG) 3-1; Zaina Shekherbekova (Kaz) bt AJ Im (cor) (Kaz) 4-1.

66 kg: Beatriz Soares (Bra) b Maria Hernandez (Gua) 5-0; Liu Yang (CHN) bt Nien-Chin Chen (TPE) 5-0; Manju Bamboriya bt Cara Wharreau (NZ) 5-0; Milena Matovic (SRB) bt SEMA Caliscan (Tour) 5-0; Emily Sonvico (Fr) bt Angela Carini (Ita) 4-3; Nadezhda Ryabets (Kaz) b Sujin Seon (Cor) 4-3; Ivanusa Gomes (CPV) bt Francina Casemang (BOT) 5-0.