Sarita Devi (64kg) and world championships silver-medallist Sonia Lather (57kg) have advanced to the semifinals and assured themselves of medals at the Asian women's Boxing Championships on Sunday. Former world champion, Sarita now eyes her sixth medal at the Asian meet after defeating Maftunakhon Melieva of Uzbekistan. After returning to the amateur fold after trying her luck in the professional circuit, Sarita took full advantage of her opponent’s reluctance to attack and connected several right hooks to take the upper hand way early in the bout. Melieva faced a standing eight count after a flurry of combination punches from the Indian, at the very beginning of the second round. She had barely begun to revert in the final three minutes, however, Sarita displayed spectacular moves to dodge the attacks.
Sonia, meanwhile, edged past Kazakhstan’s Nazym Ichshanova in the quarterfinals. She had a stiffer opponent to deal with. While she did aggressively manage to deliver several blows, the sheer ferocity of her punches standing out, she did only enough to get a split verdict in her favour. Olympic medallist MC Mary Kom (48kg), Priyanka Choudhary (60kg), and Shiksha (54kg) had advanced to the semifinals.