Fist of gold: On senior international debut, Alfiya Pathan stuns 2016 World Champ to win Elorda Cup gold

July 05,2022

NAGPUR: Reigning Youth World Champion Alfiya Pathan made her senior international debut memorable in Kazakhstan on Monday.

A year after the 19-year-old city pugilist conquered the world in her first attempt during the youth championship in Poland, Alfiya sealed her maiden gold medal in the senior category when she emerged champion in the Elorda Cup in Kazakhstan’s capital Nur-Sultan.

The cherry on top was that Alfiya blanked the 2016 world champion and title contender Lazzat Kungeibayeva of Kazakhstan 5-0 in the women’s +81kg final

Alfiya proved too strong for the reigning Asian champion Kungeibayeva as she completely dominated the final bout which eventually ended as a lop-sided contest with the unanimous decision in Alfiya’s favour. The experienced Kazakh boxer looked clueless against the young Indian who demonstrated remarkable skills.

Elated after winning her first gold medal at the senior international level, the Awasti Nagar resident said, “It’s an amazing feeling to win a gold medal, especially against top class medalists. Winning it on my debut made it more memorable.”

Alfiya said she wasn’t aware about her opponent’s achievements and was not under any pressure. “To be honest, before my bout I wasn’t aware that she was a world champion. Of course, I saw her recent world championship bouts where she had finished on the podium, but I wasn’t aware she was a gold medalist of the 2016 edition. I knew she was an experienced international boxer but never really focused on her achievement,” Alfiya told TOI.

A trainee of Ganesh Purohit and daughter of Akram Pathan, who works as assistant sub-inspector at Nagpur Police Headquarters, Alfiya added, “Like every bout, whether it’s a state, national or international competition, here too I was a bit nervous. Since this was my debut at the senior level, I just wanted to give my best and was playing with a very free mind.”


While Alfiya won the 81+kg bout, Rohtak’s Gitika clinched a thrilling 4-1 win over compatriot Kalaivani in an intense all-Indian women’s 48kg final.

Alfiya and Gitika fetched themselves a prize money of USD $700 for their gold medal-winning feats. With the addition of two gold and as many silver medals on the final day, the Indian contingent concluded their campaign with 14 medals, including 10 bronze, in the inaugural edition of the tournament that witnessed top players in action from strong boxing countries including Uzbekistan, hosts Kazakhstan, Cuba, China and Mongolia.