HO CHI MINH CITY — Star Indian boxer M.C. Mary Kom defeated Hyang Mi Kim of North Korea in the women's 48kg category to clinch the gold at the Asian Boxing Championship here Nov. 8.

The Olympic bronze medalist got the better of her opponent in a unanimous 5-0 verdict in the final to win her fifth gold at the Asian Boxing Championship and first in the 48 kg category.

"I am really happy the way this championship has panned out. I would like to dedicate this victory to all those who have supported me even though the world had written me off. I would like to thank my coaching staff who worked hard with me over the last few months," Kom said after her victory.

"A special word for the professional setup that BFI has put in place, ensuring that best facilities were given during the month-long camp and all the exposure trips for the team. Also, I am thankful to BFI President Mr. Ajay Singh especially for showing faith in me," she added.

Kom got off to a brilliant start, launching a blistering attack right from the word go. She landed most of her punches, which put her ahead in the opening round itself.

Kim tried to stay in the fight, packing a few of her own. But Kom had clearly done better.

In the second round, Kom eased up a little, preferring to be a little cautious. She used her defensive abilities to the optimum and attacked only on the counter in this round.

This strategy also worked, taking her just one step away from the gold.

Kim grew desperate in the final round and came out swinging, almost recklessly. But Kom was ready for that too. She used her reflexes well to slip in her jabs and hooks, while connecting her punches, too. It was enough to put her on top of the podium. 

Another Indian finalist Sonia Lather suffered a heartbreak as she went down to China's Yin Junhua in the final of the 57kg category to settle for the silver.

It was overall a great campaign for the Indian contingent as seven of their boxers will return home with medals including one gold, one silver and five bronzes.

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