Sakshi Chaudhary kept India’s winning momentum going at the Asian/Oceania boxing Olympic qualifiers on Wednesday with a split decision win over fourth seed Nilawan Techasuep in the round of 16 in the women’s featherweight (54-57kg).
On Tuesday, Gaurav Solanki and Ashish Kumar got India off to the perfect start on the opening day in Amman, Jordan with Sakshi Chaudhary making it three straight wins for their country at the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers.
Indian boxer takes control early
Sakshi Chaudhary was brightest in the opening round, predominantly using her left jab to push the Thai pugilist back.
The Indian featherweight also showed tremendous feet and movement to get in, connect and get out before being caught on the counter by Nilawan Techasuep.
However, shortly after the midway point in the first round, Nilawan Techasuep rocked Sakshi Chaudhary with three sharp left jabs. In the final minute, the Thai pugilist also caught the 2018 World Youth Champion with another left jab that jolted the Indian’s head back.
That said, despite the strong finish to the first round by the fourth seed, Sakshi Chaudhary still won it 4-1 in the eyes of the judges.
Nilawan Techasuep fights back
Clearly conscious about trailing on the scorecards, the 2018 Asian Games bronze medallist stepped it up early in the second round and started throwing a lot more leather than she had done in the first, even connecting with a few right crosses initially.
Sakshi Chaudhary was forced to fight while backing up because of the aggression from Nilawan Techasuep, who mainly used left-right combos throughout the round and with good effect.
The Indian pugilist’s movement was much slower than in the first round, making it difficult for her to always counter well although she did manage to get in an occasional right hand.
She enjoyed more sporadic success with her left jab in the final minute of the round, but it was Nilawan Techasuep that won the round by a 3-2 split.
Sakshi Chaudhary’s adjustments get her the win
The final round witnessed Sakshi Chaudhary make some adjustments to counter the Thai pugilist’s left-right combo and it paid dividends as she began catching the fourth seed on the way in.
The Indian boxer started using her right lead much better and as a result, began catching Nilawan Techasuep while she attempted to lean in with her left.
Even though Sakshi Chaudhari was faring much better than she did in the second round, Nilawan Techasuep looked like she got the better of the exchanges and had more punch output.
Having said that, Sakshi Chaudhary did have the final say with a jolting single left to end round three and go on to win the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers bout by split decision 4-1.
Shortly after her win, the Olympic Channel spoke with Sakshi Chaudhary, who insisted that she will just keep getting better with every fight.
“This was my first bout, so I am feeling a bit more confident than I was feeling before and I will try my best in the other bouts as well. It was a great bout and I would like to thank the BFI (Boxing Federation of India) for supporting me,” she said.
Sakshi Chaudhary’s next fight in the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers will be against South Korea's Aeji Im in the quarter-final. The winner of the match in the quarters doesn’t just progress to the semis but also qualifies for the 2020 Olympics.
When and where to watch the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers
You can follow all the action from the Asia/Oceania Boxing Qualification live exclusively on the Olympic Channel as well as our Facebook page. The morning session will get underway at 1:30 PM IST while the evening session is scheduled to begin at 8:30 IST.
You can also follow the daily live blog in both English and Hindi on the Olympic Channel.