Indian boxers clinch nine medals at Ulaanbaatar Cup

Ulaanbaatar: Commonwealth Games silver medallist Mandeep Jangra stamped his authority on the men’s Welterweight (69 kilogram) division as the Indian contingent amassed a total of nine medals at the Ulaanbaatar Cup here.

Apart from Jangra’s gold, the Indians also bagged four silver and an equal number of bronze medals at the event.

Jangra dominated the competition at this tournament with his vicious, relentless punches and flamboyant approach. Even though Mongolia’s Byamba-Otgonbaatar tried to match the Indian’s speed in the final, it was evident that Jangra’s heroics will see him tower over his opponent.

Jangra, who threw each punch with a motive to silence the crowd, succeeded in his approach as the local lad found it tough in the initial round.

With some more inputs from his coach for the second round, Otgonbaatar landed a few of his punches but Mandeep knew how to counter them in due time.

Even though the final round turned into a slugfest, the damage had been done and Mandeep won India’s only gold with a split decision victory.

In the men’s Bantamweight (56kg) final, India’s Muhammed Etash Khan clobbered local lad Kharkhuu Enkh-Amar but his efforts went in vain as the Mongolian countered tactfully and gave the home crowd something to cheer about.

Etash, known for his counter-attacking methods combined with his quick jabs and upper cuts, left his guard down and paid the price as his opponent capitalised to land vicious punches on his body and face.

Even though the Manipuri pugilist countered whenever he had the opportunity, it wasn’t enough as the judges adjudged Enkh-Amar the winner through a split decision.

The evening session started off with a closely fought men’s Light Flyweight (49kg) encounter which saw India’s Himanshu Sharma settling for silver after putting up a valiant fight against Iran’s Omid Ahmadisafa.

Even though Himanshu boxed to the best of his ability, the Iranian was superior when it came to landing impactful punches and emerged triumphant through a split verdict.

In the morning session, in the first encounter for India in the women’s 57kg category, World Championship silver medallist Sonia Lather came across a stern challenge from local lass Tumurkhuyag Bolortull and had to settle for silver after fighting tooth and nail.

The first round saw the experienced Indian boxer stay on the defensive while gauging her opponent’s strategy. However, the Mongolian, with the crowd backing her each punch, stepped on the gas from the word go.

The final round saw both the boxers change gears but Bolortull dominated the proceeding with her quick punches and punched her way to the gold medal via a split verdict.

The second finalist in the women’s roster, India Open gold medallist Lovlina Boroghain, who had made her way into the summit clash after a dominating win in the last four stage, looked to have a measured approach in comparison to her free-flowing punches from the last round and suffered a loss to Chinese Taipei’s Nien Chen Chen.

The Assamese boxer stayed on the defensive while looking for her window of her opportunity to land her hooks but Nien Chen took advantage of the Indian’s stance and kept landing her combinations to bamboozle her opponent and run away with the victory with a unanimous decision.

Bina Devi Koujam, who had lost in the semi-finals of the women’s 48kg category on Saturday, bagged the bronze while in the men’s category much fancied Shiva Thapa (60kg) also had to settle for bronze along with Vanhlimpuia (75kg) and Ashish (64kg).