New Delhi: Fighting for the lone Olympic berth for Asia in the middleweight 75kg division, Indian woman boxer Pooja Rani pulled off a thumping win in the opening round of the World Championships in Qinhuangdao, China on Saturday.

Pooja defeated American Claressa Maria Shields 27-10 to enter the second round where she will be up against sixth seed Savannah Marshall of England.

The Indian grabbed a 7-3 lead in the opening two minutes and added 20 more in the next three rounds to clinch the bout with ease.

Earlier, Mandakini Chanu (57kg) and Neetu Chahal (69kg) also advanced to the second round with easy wins.

Mandakini and Neetu are competing in non-Olympic categories as only 51kg, 60kg and 75kg divisions have been picked for the London Games where women's boxing will make its debut in the quadrennial extravaganza.

Mandakini comprehensively defeated Serbia's Bojana Ranic. Right from the moment the gong was sounded, Mandakini went on a relentless offensive against the Serbian who was physically taller and heftier.

At the end of round one, the score was 10-3 in favour of India and during the second round, Mandakini stunned Ranic twice whereby the referee had to administer the standing count of eight on both occasions.

Finally the referee stopped the contest in the third round in favour of Mandakini. Mandakini will now take on world number one Tiara Brown of USA on Monday.
Neetu, meanwhile, defeated Hungary's European Champion Bianka Nagy 22-6.

At the end of the first round, Neetu was leading 4-1and although Bianka was a very experienced boxer, Neetu's attacking play gave her the edge and the bout.

Score at the end of second round was 9-3, which increased to 17-5 by the next. Neetu's next opponent is also a world number one -- Marie de Jong of The Netherlands.

(Agencies)

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