Bengaluru, November 8: The redoubtable M C Mary Kom notched up the gold in the 48kg category at the Asian Womens Boxing Championships, winning a fiercely-contested summit clash at Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday (November 8).
Up against North Koreas Kim Hyang Mi, the five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist Indian prevailed in a unanimous 5-0 verdict to add a fifth Asian gold to her already crowded cabinet.
This is Mary Koms first international gold medal since the 2014 Asian Games and her first medal in over a year.
In Hyang Mi, Mary Kom found her most aggressive opponent so far in the tournament but she was up for the task.
Unlike her previous bouts, in which the opening three minutes were invariably spent measuring up the rival, both the boxers were lunging at each other within seconds of the bell going off.
Matched quite evenly in speed and precision, Mary Kom, who had not qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics, scored for her ringcraft, which included some fine footwork to outpace Hyang Mi at crucial junctures.
There was hardly any power-hitting on display but the contest was made engaging by the boxers fast-paced exchange of punches.
The North Korean was relentless with her left hooks but the Manipuri did not allow herself to be rattled and scored on counter-attack with her combination blows.