Courtesy a walkover in the semifinal, Mohammed Hussamuddin advanced to the final in the ongoing Strandja Memorial Boxing tournament in the men’s 57kg category in Sofia, Bulgaria on Friday. Meanwhile, former world silver-winner Sonia Lather (57kg) signed off with a bronze medal in the women’s category.

Commonwealth Games bronze-winner Hussamuddin went past Ukraine’s Mykola Butsenko without having to step inside the ring as his opponent conceded the bout because of a hand injury. Hussamuddin had won a silver medal in the 2017 edition of the event.

However, Lather went down to Ukraine’s Lullia Tsyplakova in the semifinals. The two-time Asian silver-winner lost 2-3 to end with a bronze medal at the event’s 71st edition.

The tournament features more than 200 boxers from over 30 countries and is a season-opener in the European boxing calendar.

In the other Boxing news, former World Championships bronze medallist Simranjit Kaur said besides home advantage it will act as a confidence booster for local boxers if India get to host the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

The qualifying tournament has been cancelled in the Chinese city of Wuhan following the outbreak of coronavirus. The Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has offered to host next month’s Olympic Qualifiers after it was taken away from the Chinese city of Wuhan due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

The qualifiers are scheduled to be held from February 3 to 15, but it has now become uncertain following the virus outbreak which has claimed 17 lives and infected more than 550 people.

“It would be a good if it happens in India. It will boost our confidence as we train here and with crowd rooting for us, it will be home advantage. So mentally we would be more confident as we will be playing at home,” the 24-year-old from Punjab was quoted by PTI.

Simranjit, who had won a gold at Ahmet Comert International Boxing Tournament in Istanbul in 2018, said she will look to justify her selection in the qualifiers by earning a ticket to Tokyo Games.