2023 Women's World Boxing Championships: Lovlina, Sakshi move into quarters

Lovlina Borgohain celebrates her win over Mexico's Vanessa Ortiz in their round-of-16 bout at the Women's World Boxing Championships in New Delhi. BFI

Lovlina Borgohain's Women's Boxing World Championships campaign got off to a winning start, while Sakshi Choudhary also registered a win to progress into the quarterfinals.

Lovlina, who won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics, made light work of her Mexican opponent Vanessa Ortiz. The Indian used her superior reach to her advantage as she claimed a 5-0 win in the 75kg round-of-16 bout. The 25-year-old, who has won two bronze medals at the Worlds, landed strong uppercuts and hooks to take control of the bout.

She carried the momentum into the second round and rounded off the win with persistent attacks and smart footwork. "The opponent (Vanessa) was short in height and was attacking aggressively which is difficult to contain so my plan was to attack by keeping a distance. I am not that happy with my performance today as I think I could have done much better, and I will improve in my next bout. As this is my first World Championships in the 75kg category, it is a bit tough as all other boxers have been playing in this category since before, but I believe that I can do well," Lovlina said after the bout.

She will be up against the top seed and the last World Championships' bronze medallist Rady Gramane of Mozambique in the next round.

Earlier in the day, 2021 Asian Championships bronze medallist Sakshi Choudhary earned a commanding 5-0 win against 2022 Asian Championships bronze medallist Zhazira Urakbayeva of Kazakhstan in the 52kg category pre-quarterfinal.

The two-time World Youth champion got off to a strong start and continued to dominate her Kazakh opponent in the next two rounds with her quick movement and smart attacking strategy to seal the victory by unanimous decision.

"My confidence is growing as the bouts progress so through the vigor and the passion that I currently possess, I am focused on clinching the gold," she said. She will next face Wu Yu of China in the quarterfinal.

Meanwhile, Preeti (54kg) lost 3-4 in a closely contested encounter against 2022 World Championships' silver medallist Jitpong Jutamas of Thailand. The 19-year-old Indian put up a strong fight but could not get past Jutamas, who had lost to Nikhat Zareen in last year's 52kg final.

Six Indians, including the reigning world champion Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Nitu Ghanghas (48kg), Manisha Moun (57kg), Jaismine Lamboriya (60kg), Shashi Chopra (63kg) and Manju Bamboriya (66kg), will compete in the pre-quarterfinals on Tuesday.