The day began with a fiery encounter between last year’s bronze medallists KH Shamim Banu from Manipur and Chandigarh’s Savita in the 54 kg bantam weight category. Both the boxers threw caution to the wind and traded mighty blows however Savita managed to pull off the winning punch as she landed a flurry of punches in the dying seconds to outclass the Banu in a 3-2 split verdict to win the bout.

Last year’s silver medallist Nupur (75 kg) representing Haryana is making a comeback to the ring after the Asian Championship also began her campaign with an easy 5-0 win over Rajasthan’s Shweta. Madhya Pradesh’s Jigyasa Rajput (81 kg) a bronze medal from the previous edition also started on a winning note as she defeated Uttarakhand’s Babita 5-0.

In the 64 kg category, Chandigarh’s Neema showed superb form and fitness to notch up a win against Sarmila Rai of Sikkim. Sarmila was no match for her opponent as she conceded series of punches thus forcing the referee to stop the contest in the first round itself. Monika (51kg), Ritu (57 kg), Manju (60 kg) were other boxers to win from Chandigarh as 5 pugilists from the region moved into the next round.

While a total number of 52 bouts were played in the day, Punjab’s Mandeep Kaur Sandhu blanked Uttar Pradesh’s Shilpa Baliyan 5-0 in the featherweight category. After playing cautiously in the first round and gauging the opponent’s strategy, Mandeep showed some cheeky movement and measured footwork to control the bout in the last two rounds and pocket the match. Punjab’s Gagandeep Kaur (69 kg) and Kamaljeet Kaur (51 kg) also notched up easy wins.

The pugilists will be competing in all the ten weight categories- 48kg, 51kg, 54kg, 57kg, 60kg, 64kg, 69 kg, 75 kg, 81kg and +81kg as the team from Ladakh are participating for the first time, thereby validating Boxing Federation of India (BFI)’s efforts to promote boxing across every corner of the country.

The preliminary matches will be played on the first four days followed by the knockout stage starting from December 6. The final matches will be played on December 8.