After two giant-killing acts, Manisha Maun finally succumbed to World No. 1 Stoyka Petrova, bringing her debut AIBA World Championships to an end. (Pic: AIBA)
The benefit of a book is in its inherent ability to expand with every needed addendum. The form of a written narrative means that every evolution of a story can be added in as a ‘chapter’, an editor’s note or even perhaps as a story in itself. Print the words ‘Revised’ or ‘Updated’ and it will rocket off the shelves again. In film, these sequence of events can never be played out. To update a narrative in film, the solution is a sequel.
Scrap the sequel, though. For Mary Kom’s second coming, perhaps a franchise reboot is in order. Maybe cast a North East actor this time. The addition in the narrative can come from the sequence of events that played out on November 20, where Mary, 35-year-old, mother of three, written off as early as last year, embattled Mary, the superstar Mary secured herself a seventh AIBA World Championships medal with a victory over China’s Yu Wu in the quarterfinals of the 48kg category. Her last medal came in the 2010 edition in Barbados, much before she became a household name and poster staple.
True to her legacy, she opened the doors for India’s women boxers again. Her medal guaranteed India its first medal at the 2018 Worlds. She was swiftly followed by Lovlina Borgohain, who accounted for Aussie Kaye Frances Scott in the 69 kg category.
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Where Mary was patient, biding her time against Wu, Lovlina was rampant, explosive from the first bell to the last, pushing the Australian on to the back foot almost immediately. After the initial minute of caution, the Assamese pugilist was constantly on the charge taking a unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27, 30-27, 30-27). Her next opponent will be Chinese Taipei’s Chen Nien-Chin.
Lovlina and Mary were joined by Sonia Chahal, who shook off the controversy of her pre-quarterfinal victory with another split decision (4-1) win over Colombia’s Yeni Castenada to guarantee herself a medal. Later in the day, Simranjit Kaur notched her first medal on her debut Worlds with a win over Ireland’s Amy Broadhurst in the 64kg category. With her wn, India are guaranteed four medals from the Championships, their best haul since 2006.
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Despite the glut of victories, there were also some losses that stung. Chief among them was upstart and underdog phenom Manisha Maun, who lost a split decision to Bulgaria’s Stoyka Petrova to end her debut World Championships. Maun had earlier taken out former World bronze medallist Christina Cruz, before shocking current world champion Dina Zholaman in the pre-quarters. In the toughest draw of any of the Indian pugilists, she was matched up against Petrova, the World No. 1 in the bantamweight category.
The difference in experience showed between the two as Petrova controlled Maun’s aggression with well timed counters, most of them in combinations that unsettled the Indian. Despite an impressive third round, the Indian didn’t show enough to get the judges nod for a decision.
India’s other losses came in the form of Bhagyabati (81 kg) and Pinki Rani Jangra (51 kg), both losing comprehensively to their opponents in the quarters.
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As for the Mary story, the Manipuri next faces North Korean Mi Hyang Kim, who won 5-0 against South Korean Chorong Bak. The Indian has a good record against Kim, having beaten her in the final of the Asian Championships last November.
“She could be coming with some plans against me because I had beaten her last year. But I am prepared for it,” Mary said. A country’s film industry awaits.
(With inputs from IANS)