Mary Kom and Nikhat Zareen set to clash in BFI trials final

Both boxers brush aside their opponents 10-0, will face off against each other for a place in the Olympic qualifiers .

By Sandeep Banerjee ·

Nikhat Zareen will finally get to face her idol MC Mary Kom in the 51kg final of the BFI trials on Saturday, December 28.

The long-awaited match-up came about as a result of the two renowned pugilists claiming unanimous 10-0 victories in their respective first-round bouts on Friday.

Kom triumphed over Ritu Grewal while Zareen defeated reigning national champion Jyoti Gulia.

A long time coming

The match-up comes after former junior world champion Zareen had criticised the Boxing Federation of India's selection policy for February's Olympic qualifiers and demanded a fair trial against six-time world champion Kom.

Kom had responded by saying she would respect whatever selection policy the BFI proposed, and they in turn opted to have trials.

Rest of the results

Among the other bouts on the day, in the 57kg category, world youth gold medallist Sakshi Chaudhary outclassed Asian silver winner Manisha Maun 7-3 while Sonia Lather defeated her namesake and fellow Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) player Sonia Chahal, with an identical scoreline.

In the 60kg opener, it was former national champion Simranjit Kaur who stood tall on the day after defeating Pavitra 10-0, while Sarita Devi outdueled former youth world champion Shashi Chopra 9-1.

More dominating wins were provided by the 69kg openers with Lalita edging Meena Rani 9-1 and two-time World Championship bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain trouncing Anjali 10-0.

Finally, in the 75kg opener, it was Asian Games bronze medallist Pooja Rani thumping out Indraja 10-0 while Nupur got the better of World Championship silver winner Saweety Boora 9-1.

The winners of each final trial match will be selected to be part of the Indian team to participate in the Olympic qualifiers, which are scheduled to be held in China from February 3-14, 2020.

After Saturday’s women's finals, the two-day trials for men will be held in Bellary, Karnataka, starting Sunday.