New Delhi: Indian boxers Nikhat Zareen (52kg), Manisha (57kg) and Parveen (63kg) continued their stellar performance at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul on Monday as they progress to the semi-finals of their respective events after exciting victories.
Nikhat secured their first World Cup medals with a place in the semi-finals, beating England’s Charley-Sian Davison 5-0, while young Parveen beating Tajikistan’s Shoira Zulkaynarova by an identical margin.
Manisha, on the other hand, sent Mongolia’s Namuun Monkhor into a hard-fought quarterfinal by a 4-1 split decision.
Nikhat continued her stellar performance from the prestigious Strandja Memorial tournament, where she won gold earlier this year, and handed India its first medal at this year’s tournament with an impressive win.
The 25-year-old Telangana boxer was all excited in her very physical fight against Davison. Both boxers attacked each other relentlessly in the first round.
The second round, however, was a one-way street as Nikhat pounded her opponent with great body shots to tire her out, while also landing clean and sharp punches.
With the two rounds under her belt, Nikhat showed her defensive skills as she no longer felt the need to attack in the last few minutes of her quarterfinals.
“My opponent was bigger than me today, so my strategy was to block her right hand, which is her strength. I’m excited to give India the first medal, I hope I can win the gold,” Nikhat said after the fight .
The former junior world champion then takes on Brazil’s Caroline De Almeida, who defeated Ireland’s 2018 Commonwealth Games winner Carly McNaul by unanimous decision.
Manisha, 24, moved around the ring and used her long reach to great effect as she had three clean punches in the hard-fought last eight matches. Manisha then takes on Irma Testa from Italy.
In the fourth Indian attack of the day, Parveen initially seemed hesitant to attack and looked from the depths, but as the seconds ticked away and coach Bhaskar Bhatt and the support staff encouraged her to move forward and attack from the sidelines. , the Haryana boxer gained more confidence to take a memorable victory.
However, Nitu (48kg) ended her campaign with a 2-3 loss in the quarterfinals to reigning Asian champions Alua Balkibekova of Kazakhstan, while two-time Asian champion Pooja Rani (81kg)’s campaign also came to an end when she went under 2 – 3 via a divided verdict against Australian Jessica Bagley.
There was some confusion about Pooja’s result when the announcer mixed up the names of the two boxers.
Nitu, who is a two-time World Youth Champion, started the fight cautiously and tempted her opponent to come at her, but struggled to make punches on her own.
The Indian tried his best to break through Balkibekova’s defenses as the Kazakh boxer moved quickly. Nitu managed to up the ante on the final round, but it was too late as the judges ruled in her opponent’s favor.
Later in the day, Anamika (50kg), Jaisimine (60kg) and Nandini (+81kg) will compete in their quarterfinals.
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