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5 things you need to know about Manisha Moun - India’s upcoming women’s boxing star

Young boxer Manisha Moun was one of the three Indian boxers to return home with a gold medal along with Amit Panghal (men's 52kg) and Simranjit Kaur (women's 60kg).

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

The recently concluded Cologne Boxing World Cup was a fruitful event for the Indian pugilists who won a total of nine medals which included three gold.

Young boxer Manisha Moun was one of the three Indian boxers to return home with a gold medal along with Amit Panghal (men's 52kg) and Simranjit Kaur (women's 60kg).

Moun won the gold in the featherweight category (57kg) after trumping two-time AIBA Women’s Youth World Champion and compatriot Sakshi Choudhary 3-2 in a closely fought contest,

The 22-year-old has shot to prominence with the win over the more-fancied Sakshi.

Let’s take a look at her journey to national renown.

Manisha Moun at the Cologne Boxing World Cup

Early love for volleyball

Mourn comes from a humble background. Her father was a tractor mechanic. She was born in Kaithal district, Haryana, and is the youngest of three children. The ever-enthusiastic Moun developed a keen interest in sport at an early age.

Though her parents were against her participation in any sport. It was his brother's influence that introduced her to a sport - volleyball - for the first time. She would often sneak out from her house to play volleyball with her brother.

Boxing without her father’s knowledge

The turning point of her life came when a boxing coach noticed her while she was playing volleyball with her brother. The coach secretly started training her at the age of 12, while her father had no idea about it.

Moun soon grew up the ranks and started participating in the local championships, without the knowledge of her father.

Her father was dealt a shock when he came across Moun's photograph in a local Kaithal newspaper. Moun had won a medal at a state-level boxing championship and the newspaper, promptly, had carried her photograph.

Her father went on to accept the career choice made by Moun.

Moun - The Giant Killer

Moun came to the fore during the 2018 AIBA Women’s World Championships where she earned the nickname of ‘Giant Killer’. She defeated world champion Dina Zhalaman of Kazakhstan with a dominating performance in the 54kg category after beating another World Championship medallist in USA’s Christina Cruz. She reached the quarter-finals and fell short of a medal but her performances against big names was praised.

Italian chief coach Rafael Bergemasco was all praise for her never-say-die attitude.

"Ingenuo (naively innocent)" is how he described it. "With the others you know they might take some pressure before a World Championships. That's not the case with Manisha," Rafael was quoted as saying by ESPN.

Asian Championship medal

Her fine run at the National Championships continued as she clinched a silver medal at the 2019 National Championships. She also made the year memorable with a bronze medal in the bantamweight category (54kg) at the 2019 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships.

Injury and switch to featherweight category

Moun’s progress in 2019 was halted after she suffered an elbow injury during a sparring session.

Also, she decided to switch to the featherweight category (57kg) in order to qualify for the Olympics. As a result, she missed out on the Indian team for the 2019 AIBA Women's World Boxing Championship.

But after getting used to her new weight-class, she trained under coach Ron Simms Jr. at Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS) in Karnataka in 2020.

And now, after a confidence-boosting victory, she will hope to land a spot at the Tokyo Olympics next year.