Updated: Jul 20
At the first-ever Florida Cup in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, on Wednesday, Indian boxers Simranjit Kaur and Ananta Chopade got their careers off to contrasting starts with wins.
Simranjit, who won the bronze medal at the 2018 World Championships, started the tournament with a commanding lead. In the women's 60kg match, she managed to pull off a convincing victory over the local boxer Ischanova Nazym by unanimous decision.
Ananta, on the other hand, faced a tough task from the Mongolian fighter Dorjnyambuu Ganbold in the nation's opening fight of the day. However, the Indian maintained his composure during a fiercely contested men's 54kg drama and eventually succeeded in tipping the scales in his favor by a slim 3-2 decision.
Simranjit and Ananta's quarterfinal matchups will now pit them against Xu Zichun of China and Altynbek Nursultan of Kazakhstan, respectively.
Three other Indian fighters lost in the first round, though. In the men's division, Muhammed Etash Khan (60 kg), Kaisham Johnson Singh (63.5 kg), and Manjeet Singh (+92 kg) all suffered 0-5 defeats against Kazakh opponents Samchuk Vassily, Bazarbai Uulu Mukhammedsabyr, and Saparbay Nurlan.
The ongoing event has a 33-member Indian contingent, including 12 men, with two teams competing in the women's division. In addition to boxers from India, the competition has also featured fighters from Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the host country, Cuba, China, and Mongolia.
Along with the 2021 Youth World champions Gitika and Alfiya Pathan, World Championship medalists Simranjit, Sonia Lather, and Jamuna Boro are leading the Indian effort in the women's division. Lakshya Chahar, the current national champion, and Sachin, the winner of the Youth World Championship, are among the Indian competitors in the men's division.
Another Indian boxer, Kirti, who competes for the second Indian women's team, will face Japan's Rinka Tanaka later on Day 1 in the 60kg division.
The July 4 finals will take place.
The silver and bronze medal winners will receive USD 400 and USD 200, respectively, while the winning boxer will receive USD 700.