Simranjit Kaur Baatth ensured that the Indian contingent kept their perfect record in the Asia/Oceania boxing Olympic qualifiers intact after beating Kazakhstan’s Rimma Volossenko by unanimous decision to make it four wins from four for India in Amman, Jordan so far.
The Indian pugilist got the better of Rimma Volossenko in the first round but the boxer from Kazakhstan’s more aggressive approach in the second saw her fight back. The final round belonged to Simranjit Kaur, who matched Rimma Volossenko blow-for-blow while backing up and won the third round by unanimous decision.
“As it was my first bout I was a little bit nervous as a few months ago I had lost to her so this time around I was aiming for the win,” Simranjit Kaur told the Olympic Channel after her win. “My confidence now is high after winning the first bout and I plan to play a little more openly in the next bout.”
Shots from a long way out win Simranjit round one
After beating veteran L Sarita Devi at the national trials to qualify for the round of 16 Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers in the women’s lightweight (57-60kg), Simranjit Kaur looked solid in the opening round.
She moved around sharply in the ring as Rimma Volossenko looked to close the distance and unload some stiff punches.
But every time Volossenko looked to assert her dominance in the ring, Simranjit Kaur demonstrated her quick feet and landed several eye-catching shots from a distance.
Unfazed, the Kazakh continued to stick with her game plan of moving forward and attacking but it was Simranjit Kaur that won the first round 5-0.
Rimma Volossenko adopts uber aggressive approach
The Kazakhstan boxer’s strategy did bear fruit in the second round, however, as she transformed the bout in a brawl.
Aware that she was trailing 0-5 on the judge’s scorecards, Volossenko came out of her corner with some bombing punches that had Simranjit backing up to the ropes.
The Indian lightweight spent most of the round reeling backwards, trying to evade a flurry of punches from the Kazakh, who had her head down, kept pushing forward and was determined to bombard her way through anything Simranjit threw.
Volossenko’s approach saw her take the second round 5-0 to make it all to fight for in the final round with questions now being asked of Simranjit Kaur.
Simranjit’s ability to fight backing up wins it
The last round had all the makings of a classic slugfest with the Kazakh unrelenting in her brawler-like approach.
However, despite her rampant advances in the ring, unlike the second round, Simranjit landed some hard lefts and rights while mostly backing up.
Even though Rimma Volossenko was dictating the tempo towards the end of the bout, Simranjit Kaur’s excellent work on the back foot and ability to connect at the sight of the slightest opening was enough for the judges to give her the last round 5-0.
She will take on second seed Namuun Monkhor in the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers quarter-final and will go into the bout knowing that another win guarantees her a spot in India’s Tokyo-bound contingent.
On meeting the second seed in the quarters, Simranjit Kaur insisted, “The seeding doesn’t matter to me, I just stepped down from 64kg to 60kg so I just want to give my 100 per cent.”
When and where to watch the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers
You can follow all the action from the Asian boxing Olympic qualifiers 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.