Mary Kom ensured a fourth medal for India as she punched her way into the semifinals of the London Olympics flyweight (48-51 kgs) boxing competition with a resounding 15-6 win against Tunisia's Maroua Rahali at the Excel Arena on Monday afternoon.
The victory ensured that Mary will not return empty handed from London, a destination that has seen the introduction of women's boxing for the first time in the Olympic programme.
"It was a good bout that Mary fought today. Cool, calculative and she knew exactly what to do," said men's coach Gurbax Singh Sandhu, who turned up at the boxing arena to watch the quarterfinal match-up.
"Vijender (who fights late on Monday in a 75 kg quarterfinal bout versus Abbos Atoev of Uzbekistan) has to do something similar," added Singh.
Mary has set up a semifinal clash versus of Great Britain's Nicola Adams on Wednesday. The No. 2 seeded black boxer, who received a first-round bye, was equally emphatic when she defeated Stoyka Petrova of Bulgaria 16-7. Nicola has a better win-loss record against Mary in this weight category.
Even if Mary goes down against Nicola on Wednesday, she will still win a bronze. According to the rules, two bronze medals are awarded to the losers of the semifinals.
After an energy-sapping fight against Poland's Karolina Michalczuk on Sunday, Mary made a tentative start on Monday. This was the first time she was up against the Tunisian girl and she took the first two rounds to gauge her. However, she won both the rounds 2-1 and 3-2.
Mary shifted gears in Round 3. With vicious straight jabs with her left, the five-time world champion picked up quick points. The Tunisian girl tried her best to use her better reach, but Mary moved out of harm's way whenever Maroua threw her punches.
"I didn't have to sweat much today. It was an easy fight. She didn't surprise me at all," Mary said after her fight.
Mary is drawing in the crowds at Excel Arena. She received heavy support from the many Indian fans, who were shouting "Mary, Mary" throughout her match. The 29-year-old didn't disappoint them.