Khalzova, Rani, Yerzhan cruise to quarterfinals of World Championships

Kazakhstan’s former world champion Valentina Khalzova inched closer to reclaiming the crown as she easily disposed of South Korea’s young bet Seon Su Jin, 5-0, for a quarterfinal spot in the light middleweight (70kg) division of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul, Turkey on Friday (local time).

The 25-year-old Khalzova, who clinched a gold medal in front of hometown fans in the 2016 edition as well as a silver in the ASBC Asian tourney a year later, read the 23-year-old Korean boxer’s tactical change like a book and adjusted immediately to snare her second straight victory.

Reigning two-time Asian champion Poojan Rani of India and another Kazakhstani rep Gulsaya Yerzhan also advanced to the quarterfinals following their impressive wins in the light heavyweight (81kg) class which started with the round of 16.

The 30-year-old Rani controlled the tempo right from the get-go to seize a one-sided 5-0 victory over Hungary’s 34-year-old veteran and former silver medalist Timea Nagy.

“I have not competed since the Tokyo Olympic Games and I know my opponent who is strong and experienced. I followed the instructions in the first round and my coach told me after three minutes that I have to continue in the same way in the second. I have now a few days to relax until my quarter-final bout,” said Rani.

Kazakhstan’s newcomer Yerzhan, for her part, found her groove from the opening bell and proceeded to dominate fellow rookie Olesia Krysiuk of Ukraine for a 5-0 triumph.

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