New Delhi: Indian boxers Nikhat Zareen, Nitu Ghanghas and Manisha Moun continued with their dazzling show at the Mahindra IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships as they progressed into the quarterfinals with dominating victories here on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, it was heartbreak for Shashi Chopra (63kg) who gave it her all but went down fighting 0-4 to Japan’s Mai Kito.
Nikhat, the defending champion, outpunched Mexican pugilist Fatima Herrera comfortably and won by unanimous decision in the 50kg pre-quarterfinals bout at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex here.
The Indian pugilist was in aggressive mode from the word go and made an impressive start, exhibiting quick movement. Herrera tried her best to shift the momentum in her favour but Nikhat’s relentless attacks were too strong.
Nikhat will be up against the Thai boxer Chuthamat Rakshat in the quarterf”nals.
“I played this boxer in the last World Championships too and had won. She was a little tougher today than last time. My weight category has changed from 52 to 50kg and my speed has increased but I still have to work on some things. I am happy that I played well today. Each player that I have played till now “as tough,” Nikhat said after the match.
Nikhat’s win came after Nitu (48kg) and Manisha provided the hosts with a perfect start as they recorded commanding Referee Stops Contest (RSC) wins in their respective matches.
While the 2022 Commonwealth Games champion Nitu made a cautious start but took less than six minutes to force the referees to end the bout with Tajikistan’s Sumaiya Qosimova, Manisha and Turkey’s Nur Turhan exchanged heavy punches during an intense 57kg match.
However, Manisha, who won bronze in the last edition, quickly shifted gears to take the charge before completing a convincing victory in the end. She will next take on French pugilist Amina Zidani in the quarterfinals whereas Nitu will face Madoka Wada of Japan.
Lovlina Borgohain (75kg), Sakshi Choudhary (52kg), Nupur Sheoran (+81kg) and Saweety Boora (81kg) are the other Indian boxers who have already secured their places in the quarter-finals.
The quarterfinals will be played on Wednesday at the prestigious event, which is witnessing the participation of 324 boxers, including several Olympic medallists, from 65 countries fighting for the titles in the 12 weight categories.
Two more Indian pugilists-Jaismine (60kg) and Manju Bamboriya (66kg) will also be seen in action in the pre-quarterfinals later tonight.
In a major upset of the day, Venezuela’s Omailyn Alcala stunned the former world champion and Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Nesthy Petecio of the Philippines with a thrilling 4-3 victory in the hard-fought 57kg contest.
Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Irma Testa (57kg), on the other hand, had an easy outing as she continued her winning momentum with a comfortable 5-0 victory against Vietnam’s Hao Nguyen Thi in the 57kg Last-16 match.