Sports Neeraj Sonia

Boxer Sonia Lather (left) entered the quarter-finals of the Asian Boxing Championships after beating Kana Kurogi of Japan Nov. 3, 2017. (Sonia Lather Twitter photo)

NEW DELHI — Indian boxers Neeraj and Sonia Lather posted comfortable victories to breeze into the quarter-finals of the Asian Boxing Championships in Vietnam Nov. 3.

Reigning national champion Neeraj outsmarted Myanmar's Nally Nally 5-0 in the 51kg category, while 2016 world championship runner-up Lather steamrolled Japan's Kana Kurogi by a unanimous decision in the 57kg competition to continue India's good run in the tournament. 

Lather, a former Asian Games silver medalist made a slow start and spent most of the opening round playing safe. 

She, however picked up the momentum in the second round and her punches were too hot to handle for the Japanese pugilist. Kurogi could never really get back into the bout with the referees eventually ruling the match in the Indian's favor. 

Asian Championship debutant Neeraj was also in imperious form and dominated her opponent from the word go. She was in her element throughout the bout and eased her way into the last eight.

"I am happy to get off to a winning start in the tournament. It is the first time I was playing in the Asian Championships and obviously wanted to do well. The win actually has given a lot more confidence and I just hope that I can keep it up in the next round," Neeraj said after the match.

Neeraj will take on Chol Mi Pang of South Korea in the next round, while Lather will face Nazym Ichshanova of Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals.

However, it was curtains for Pooja Rani as lost her quarter-final bout against Xiaoli Yang of China in the 8kg category.

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