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Mary Kom punches her way into pre-quarterfinals

MC Mary Kom

Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom (51 kg) beat Dominican Republic's Miguelina Hernandez Garcia 4-1 in the opening round of the Olympic Games here on Sunday  to enter the pre-quarterfinals of the boxing competition. 

The 38-year-old Indian, who is a 2012 Olympic bronze-medallist, overcame a spirited challenge from a rival who is 15 years younger and a Pan American Games bronze-medallist. In an exciting bout, Mary Kom used some brilliant manoeuvres to outclass Garcia. 

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After holding back in the opening round to study her rival, the veteran unleashed an aggressive flurry of punches in the final three minutes. Garcia had won the second round with some fierce punching.

Mary Kom's powerful right hook worked well for her through the bout and she also used her experience to make Garcia lunge at her which exposed the younger boxer for the punches to land.

The Indian boxer’s next fight will be against third-seeded Colombian medallist Ingrit Valencia, who is a bronze medal winner of the 2016 Rio Games.