GUANGZHOU, China - Chinese policewoman Ren Cancan went down in the history books on Thursday as the first woman to win an Asian Games boxing title by defeating Annie Albania of the Philippines 7-5.
Flyweight Ren, who is the reigning world champion, has been in devastating form throughout the Games and disposed of India's highly-decorated Mary Kom in Wednesday's semis as she surged towards the decider.
"I'm so excited and happy to win the first gold medal in women's competition," said Ren, 22.
"I was working hard to achieve this for so many years and today's medal has given me hope of winning gold at the 2012 London Olympics."
Chinese women are in each of the other two finals, on Friday.
"The standard of China's women's boxing is quite high in the world," Ren said.
In a cagey first round, Albania won the opening point before the Chinese drew level and then went 2-1 up just before the bell with a quick combination.
Ren again lost the first point of round two before storming back to go into a 5-2 lead at the end of the second, her superior speed catching out the Filipina again and again.
Albania was now forced on the front foot, catching Ren with a jab but opening herself up for the Chinese to go up 6-3.
Albania pulled it back to 6-4 in the third to stay in contention going into the fourth and final round, and she made it 6-5 with a minute to go before Ren sealed gold by flooring Albania to make it 7-5.
"I didn't perform well and I didn't have control of the fight," said Albania, 28.
"I wanted to stand on the podium and hear my national anthem. I'm proud of my country," added the Philippines boxer, who like many women boxers trains against men for fights.
But Albania said an eye injury could ruin her hopes for London.
"My participation in the 2012 Olympics depends on how fast I will recover from this injury," she said.
After being added to the programme for the 2012 London Olympics, women's boxing is making its Games debut in Guangzhou with titles in flyweight (48-51kg), lightweight (57-60kg) and middleweight (69-75kg).
Kom and Japan's Aya Shinmoto share bronze.