Thirty-two contests were scheduled for the fourth preliminary day in Incheon, where sixteen women’s and sixteen men’s bouts were on the official program.
The Indian boxers enjoyed a perfect day in the Seonhak Gymnasium, and Asian stars such as Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte, Kazakhstan’s Daniyar Yeleussinov and Kyrgyzstan’s Azat Usenaliev all advanced to the quarter-finals in Incheon.
Bout of the day
Uzbekistan’s ASBC Asian Continental Championships silver medallist and Sportaccord World Combat Games winner Shakhobiddin Zoirov was in great form just before the Asian Games, which led to their head coach deciding to involve him in their current line-ups, as he replaced AIBA World Boxing Championships silver medallist Jasurbek Latipov in the Flyweight class (52 kg).
Zoirov won the Republic of Kazakhstan President’s Cup in July which booked his ticket to Incheon.
The 21-year-old boxer trains in the Bukhara region in Uzbekistan, and used his best weapon, aggressive attacks against China’s Asian Games silver medallist Chang Yong on Day 4.
Zoirov was highly motivated, and put pressure on the Chinese boxer from the first seconds of their bout.
The Uzbek hope dominated the rounds against a top rival in spite of their height disadvantage, and advanced through to the quarter-finals winning the bout by unanimous decision.
Team of the day
India had five contests on the fourth competition day, and their athletes won all of their matches in Incheon.
Firstly, five-time AIBA Women’s World Champion and London 2012 Olympic Games bronze medallist Chungneijang Mary Kom Hmangte was too strong for Korea’s Kim Ye Ji in the Women’s Flyweight class (51 kg).
India’s former AIBA Women’s World Champion Saritha Devi Laishram continued their winning series in Incheon when she overwhelmed DPR Korea’s Ri Chung Son at the Women’s Lightweight class (60 kg).
India’s ASBC Asian Women’s Continental Championships silver medallist Pooja Rani has had some unexpected losses in the recent years, but the 23-year-old Middleweight class (75 kg) boxer enjoyed one of her best performances of the year against Mongolia’s Asian Games silver medallist Undram Erdenesoyol.
New Flyweight class (52 kg) team member, and President’s Cup bronze medallist Gaurav Bidhuri had a low number of international contests prior the Asian Games, but he received the right for his country following their National Trials.
The 21-year-old boxer used his length to keep the distance against Nepal’s Prem Chaudhary, and won every single round.
His next opponent will be a top rival, Uzbekistan’s strong favourite Shakhobiddin Zoirov.
India’s fifth triumph was delivered by ASBC Asian Continental Championships silver medallist Mandeep Jangra, who had the hardest job among his compatriots in Incheon.
The 21-year-old Welterweight class (69 kg) boxer was a silver medallist in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in the beginning of August, which was a perfect result for him to raise his motivation prior to the Asian Games.
Jangra needed to change his tactics after the first round against China’s Giraldo Cordova Cardin Memorial Tournament winner Liu Wei, but finally he was able to beat his strong rival in Incheon.
Surprise of the day
China’s Si Haijuan is a newcomer in their national team, and has suffered several losses at the international level since she joined the squad, so therefore she was not the favourite in her opening battle against Thailand’s three-time Southeast Asian Games winner and AIBA Women’s World Championships quarter-finalist Sopida Satumrum.
The Thai star has had a fantastic career, and had more experienced than her younger Chinese opponent.
Although Satumrum controlled the first part of their bout, everything changed in the middle of the contest when the Chinese star began to utilise better tactics.
The 21-year-old continued to impress in the third round, especially using effective combinations, and caused a surprise in turning back the bout in Incheon.
Ones to watch
Vietnam’s National Champion Le Thi Bang has moved down to the Flyweight class (51 kg) and the boxer knocked down her Central Asian rival, Tajikistan’s Svetlana Veglina twice during the four rounds in their bout, which was a perfect example of Vietnam’s developing boxing prowess.
Kyrgyzstan’s defending ASBC Asian Continental Champion Azat Usenaliev raised his experience in the fourth season of the World Series of Boxing as a member of the Ukraine Otamans franchise, and Kyrgyzstan’s national boxing hero demonstrated his footwork and technique against Iraq’s ASBC Asian Continental Championships bronze medallist Murtadha Raad Qassim Al-Sudhani.
Kazakhstan’s AIBA World Champion Daniyar Yeleussinov was awarded the AIBA Best Men’s Boxer of 2013 trophy, and is a real boxing idol.
He won the Asian Games in Guangzhou four years ago when he was only 19 and travelled to Incheon to defend his throne.
The Welterweight class (69 kg) star proved his ability during his opening bout in Incheon where he defeated Chinese Taipei’s Su Chin Cheng by a large margin of difference.
Stat/Fact of the day
The twenty-four top women from the following nations retained their medal hopes in the boxing tournament of the Asian Games in Incheon:
China, India, Vietnam: 3 boxers
DPR Korea, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Philippines, Sri Lanka: 2 boxers
Chinese Taipei, Korea, Nepal, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan: 1 boxer
The fifth competition day will deliver the first medal battles, which means all of the women’s athletes who win will be guaranteed medallists.
Boxers at the Men’s Light Flyweight class (49 kg) and Men’s Light Welterweight class (64 kg) will be boxing for a place in the quarter-finals.