Guwahati, June 10: Lovelina Borgohain has become the first woman boxer from Assam to qualify for the Olympics.
Lovlina sealed her spot in the Olympics by beating Uzbekistan’s Maftunakhon Melieva in the quarterfinals of the Asian Olympic qualifiers. She fell in the semi-finals to Gu Hong of China and had to settle for another bronze though but her mission was accomplished.
The first Indian boxer in action in the evening session of the Asian Boxing Olympic qualifiers was second seed Lovlina Borgohain, who squared off against Uzbekistan’s Maftunakhon Melieva.
The towering Indian welterweight used her height effectively straight from the off, making it difficult for Melieva to get her jabs in on the inside.
The Indian pugilist was using her left lead very well and controlled the first round with straight punches while her opponent looked to close the distance, searching for a few solid connections.
In fairness, Maftunakhon Melieva did find some success but Lovlina Borgohain was clearly on top as the round progressed and even connected with a brutal right cross before the end of it to win it across the board.
Melieva was seen more on the front foot in the second round as she looked to claw her way back into the fight.
However, Lovlina Borgohain looked comfortable fighting on the back foot and got her jabs away frequently while doing so.
Both boxers also looked to clinch a lot in the second round and unload some body shots before breaking away with hard punches to the head.
Lovlina Borgohain did come out better in these exchanges but Maftunakhon Melieva also managed to do some damage with one judge even giving her round two, while the other four ruled in favour of the second seed.
The final round was the reigning World Championships bronze medallist’s most dominant as Lovlina Borgohain started showcasing her swift footwork and continued to connect with right-hand counters and left jabs on the back foot.
Melieva did begin the round with a good tempo but a cluster of punches in the last minute meant that it was all Lovlina Borgohain by the end of it, leading to a unanimous decision win in favour of the Indian.
“I am very happy that I have qualified for the Olympics. I worked very hard to try and qualify, hence I am feeling very happy to have qualified,” Lovlina Borgohain, who will face Hong Gu in the semi-final, told the media.
“My dream for Tokyo 2020 is about to come true and I am confident that I can win India gold for my country,” she asserted.