After two days of top-class World Championship boxing, Saturday’s first-session line up of light flyweight and flyweight preliminary bouts promised another dose of unmissable action in Astana. With big names including India’s five-time champion MC Mary Kom, China’s Cancan Ren and Britain’s Nicola Adams taking to the ring, the boxers duly delivered both thrilling performances and surprise results.

In the afternoon’s opening light-flyweight bouts, Canadian Kim Klavel dominated Ireland’s Donna Barr and Chorong Bak conjured a stirring fightback against Azeri Aziza Abbasova. Chorong’s reward will be a second-round tie against American top-seed Marlen Esparza on Monday, while Klavel will face Romanian third-seed Steluta Duta.

Italy’s Valeria Calabrese displayed real energy and stamina as she overcame the powerful Chian-Huei Chin of Chinese Taipei, before Kazakhstan’s defending World Champion Nazym Kyzaibay got the crowd buzzing as she outboxed Poland’s Angelika Gronska.

Fresh from her win at the Olympic Qualifying event in Buenos Aires, Canadian Mandy Bujold got the middleweight competition up and running with a comfortable win over Yana Burym of Belarus, before Germany’s Azize Nimani undoubtedly earned the result of the afternoon, edging past India’s five-time World Champion MC Mary Kom in a brilliantly close encounter.

“I am extremely happy after today’s bout. Mary Kom is a very strong boxer and a legend in our sport but I was concentrated and focused until the last seconds to accomplish my goal. I knew I could win if I followed my instructions and found my rhythm… now I want to be World Champion,” said a delighted Azize Nimani after her victory.

France’s Sarah Ourahmoune was in ruthless form as she delivered a first-round TKO against Tunisian Amel Chebbi, while in the next ring Nicola Adams was landing some powerful blows against the resilient Uzbek Dilnozakhon. Adams’ unanimous points win means she will now meet Azeri Anna Alimardanova, winner of a tight battle against American Virginia Fuchs, for a place in the quarter-finals.

A big win for Chinese Taipei’s Yu-Ting Lin over the top Bulgarian Stanimira Petrova, and a more straightforward victory for three-time World Champion Ren Cancan, wrapped up a memorable afternoon session.