Mary Kom ‘favourite’ to win Asian Boxing Championships

New Delhi: Six-times AIBA Women’s World Champion and five-times ASBC Asian Women’s Champion Mary Kom will compete in the flyweight (51kg) in Dubai in the upcoming Asian women’s Boxing Championships.

 The upcoming ASBC Asian men’s and women’s Boxing Championships, which scheduled to be held in New Delhi have been relocated to Dubai, United Arab Emirates due to the current COVID-19 situation.

 Boxers born between 1980 and 2002 are eligible to participate in the ASBC Asian men’s and women’s Elite Boxing Championships in 10 weight categories both for men and women.

Indian boxer Mary Kom, who is an Asian Games winner and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, will start the tournament as favourite in the women’s category.

She has won most of her titles in the light flyweight (48kg), but because of the Olympic weight categories, Kom will compete in the flyweight.

 “In the absence of the powerful Chinese, Japanese, DPR Korean and Vietnamese stars of this weight category, Mary Kom could be the main favorite in Dubai. She returned to the international stage after one year of a break at the Boxam tournament this March, where she claimed a bronze medal. Mary Kom’s main rival could be Kazakhstan’s two-time AIBA Women’s World Champion Nazym Kyzaibay at the upcoming event,” the International Boxing Association (AIBA) said in an official statement.

 “Among the boxing powers of the Asian continent, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, India, Thailand, Philippines, Mongolia, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan registered to participate in the forthcoming Championships. Such developing boxing countries in the Asian continent as Afghanistan, Laos, Macau, Nepal, Qatar, Sri Lanka and Yemen also will attend the competition,” it added.

Bahrain has done its debut at the ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships, and the country will return to the upcoming edition to Dubai.

 Kuwait returned after a break at the 2019 ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships in Bangkok, but this time, the country will attend the new edition with a bigger team.

Among the defending AIBA Men’s Elite World Champions, Uzbekistan’s trio Shakhobiddin Zoirov, Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov and Bakhodir Jalolov, furthermore, Kazakhstan’s Bekzad Nurdauletov will be there in Dubai.

AIBA Women’s World Champions, Philippines’ Nesthy Petecio is also planning to attend.

The defending AIBA World Champion in the men’s flyweight (52kg) is Uzbekistan’s Shakhobiddin Zoirov, who defeated one of his main rivals, Kazakhstan’s two-time ASBC Asian Youth Champion Makhmud Sabyrkhan, in the final of the Governor Cup last week.

Zoirov defeated India’s star Amit Panghal at the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships in Ekaterinburg. Their possible re-match could be another highlight of this weight class.

Kyrgyzstan’s former ASBC Asian Champion Azat Usenaliev won almost all of his international contests in the previous years while South Korea’s AIBA World Boxing Championships bronze medallist Kim In Kyu, Thailand’s new sensation Thitisan Panmod and Philippines’ Carlo Paalam are also on the registration list.

Uzbekistan’s defending AIBA World Champion Bakhodir Jalolov defeated his Kazakh rival Kamshybek Kunkabayev in the final of the super heavyweight (+91kg) at the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships and in the last two editions of the ASBC Asian Elite Boxing Championships.

Kunkabayev defeated his 202cm Uzbek star in the World Series of Boxing and the Hamburg 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships.

The neighbouring rivals knew each other well, and their next possible meeting in Dubai could be a real highlight.

The Kazakh boxer was one of the Ambassadors of the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Kielce, Poland.