Gold rush in Jordan: Lovlina, Parveen, Saweety and Alifiya win Asian C'ships titles
Lovlina Borgohain looked at ease as she struck gold in her maiden appearance in the middleweight division while three other Indian boxers were also crowned Asian champions in Amman, Jordan on Friday.
World championship bronze medallist Parveen Hooda (63kg), Saweety (81kg) and Alfiya Khan (81 kg) packed a power punch to clinch the yellow metal in their respective categories.
Minakshi, on the other hand, concluded her maiden Asian Championships campaign by clinching a silver medal in the flyweight division (52kg) as Indian women boxers signed off with a haul of seven medals.
Parveen continued to impress as she notched up a facile 5-0 victory over Japan's Kito Mai to grab the first gold for India in the ongoing event, while Olympic bronze medallist Lovlina, competing in her maiden tournament in the 75kg category, also cruised to a unanimous decision win over Ruzmetova Sokhiba of Uzbekistan.
Saweety and Alifiya then added to the gold rush, defeating Gulsaya Yerzhan of Kazakhstan and Islam Husaili of Jordan respectively.
While Saweety pummelled Yerzhan into submission, Alifiya's opponent was disqualified bringing an end to the bout in the first round itself.
The title will be a big morale booster for the 25-year-old Lovlina who has struggled to find form since her bronze-medal winning exploits at the Tokyo Olympics. She made early exits in the World Championships and Commonwealth Games earlier this year.
The Assam boxer has moved up from 69kg to 75kg division as her former weight class doesn't feature in the Paris Olympics.
The two boxers started the proceedings on a tentative note, inviting the other to attack first, but Lovlina was able to use her long reach and land a few clean jabs.
The two danced around the ring trying to avoid each other's attack, however, Lovlina succeeded in landing her jabs. One jab of her's was so powerful that the referee was forced to give Sokhiba the count.
Despite it only being a five-boxer field, Lovlina has shown immense improvement during the course of the three bouts she played in the tournament.
It is Lovlina's third Asian Championship medal, she had won the bronze in 2017 and 2021 in the welterweight division.
Earlier, world championships bronze medallist Parveen, who missed out on the Commonwealth Games, put up a dominant show to beat fourth seeded Mai via unanimous decision.
Both the boxers started on the offensive but the top-seeded Parveen was able to dominate the proceedings as she jabbed her opponent at will.
Having lost the opening round, Mai tried to up the ante but Parveen swiftly dodged all her attacks.
The Indian was especially impressive with her upper cuts in the third round.
In the first Indian final of the day, Minakshi toiled hard but lost the gold medal bout to Kinoshita Rinka of Japan via 1-4 spilt verdict.
Minakshi was slow to start, with the second seed Japanese taking full advantage of the Indian's sluggishness as four out of the five judges voted in her favour.
In the second round as well, Minakshi looked lost. She was unable to land clear punches and resorted to clinching while the Japanese pugilist played more accurately and defended well.
It was effectively the second round that cost Minakshi the tie as she made a stunning recovery in the final three minutes by using a combination of punches to take the round 4-1, but it was too late as the judges ruled in Rinka's favour.