India’s Sonia Chahal (57kg) defeated former world champion Stanimira Petrova in a controversial bout to enter the quarterfinals but another local hope Saweety Boora (75kg) bowed out on a stormy day at the women’s World Boxing Championships here on Monday.
The 21-year-old Sonia, daughter of a farmer from Haryana, was trailing after the second round but recovered in the final round to win the close bout 3-2. All the five judges ruled in favour of the Indian in the third round and that sealed the win for the local hope.
Petrova, a gold medal winner in the 2014 edition in the 54kg, expressed her displeasure with the decision. The 27-year-old accused the judges of “corruption”.
“I want to say only one thing, it is corruption by the judges. It is not a fair result,” she told reporters.
Her coach Petar Yosifov Lesov threw a water bottle inside the ring in protest and the International Boxing Association (AIBA) barred him from ringside and revoked his accreditation.
Sonia, on her part, said it was a fair result.
“How can all the five judges go wrong? It was a fair decision,” she said.
Soniawon a gold in the National Championships in 2016. Last year, she won a gold in the Serbia Cup. She fetched a bronze in the Ahmet Comert Boxing Tournament this year.
Sonia next faces Arias Castenada Yeni Marcela of Columbia in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.
India, however, suffered a jolt with former wolrd silver-medallist Saweety (75kg) losing her opening bout to Elzbieta Wojcik of Poland in a unanimous decision.
The 23-year-old Saweety won a silver in the 2014 World Championships in 81kg category.
The Haryana boxer also faced a standing eight count in the second round. Coach Shiv Singh later questioned it, saying Saweety was pulled down and was not punched by her opponent.
“Saweety did not fall from a punch but was pulled down (by her opponent). I am not saying that the standing count resulted to Saweety’s loss but it puts pressure on the judges (to give points against the boxer who faced the count),” he told reporters.
Saweety was the second Indian to bow of the tournament after former champion L Sarita Devi (60kg).