Hanoi: Indian boxer MC Mary Kom on Wednesday defeated North Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi 5-0 in the 48 kg category final of the Asian Women’s Boxing Championships held here.
Up against North Korea’s Kim Hyang Mi, the five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist Indian prevailed in a unanimous 5-0 verdict to add another accolade to her already crowded cabinet.
This is Mary Kom’s first international gold medal since the 2014 Asian Games and her first medal in over a year.
In Hyang Mi, the 35-year-old Mary Kom found her most aggressive opponent so far in the tournament but she was up for the task.
Unlike her previous bouts, in which the opening three minutes were invariably spent measuring up the rival, both the boxers were lunging at each other within seconds of the bell going off.
Matched quite evenly in speed and precision, Mary Kom scored for her ringcraft, which included some fine footwork to outpace Hyang Mi at crucial junctures.
There was hardly any power-hitting on display but the contest was made engaging by the boxers’ fast-paced exchange of punches.
The North Korean was relentless with her left hooks but the Manipuri did not allow herself to be rattled and scored on counter-attack with her combination blows.
The star Indian boxer had booked her place in the finals of Asian Women’s Boxing Championships after sweeping aside Japan’s Tsubasa Komura in the light-flyweight category in the Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday.
The 34-year-old proved that she still has fuel left in her tank as she defeated Komura in a unanimous 5-0 verdict to make it to the summit showdown for the fifth time in her six appearances at the event.
Mary’s North Korean opponent had made it to the final after beating Mongolia’s Jargalan Ochirbat in the semifinals.
The Olympic medallist, who returned to her preferred 48kg weight category after five years of competing in 51kg, was bidding for her first Asian gold medal in the category.
Earlier, Mary had hammered Chinese Taipei’s Meng-Chieh Pin in a split verdict in the quarterfinals to make it to the last-four stage of the event and assure India of a bronze medal.
It should be noted that Mary had won four gold and a silver in her five previous appearances at the event.