Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen cruised to the final with a sensational victory while Manisha and debutant Parveen ended their campaigns with bronze medals after semi-final defeats at the 12th edition of the World Championships IBA Women’s Boxing Championships in Istanbul on Wednesday. Putting on a skillful display, the Nizamabad (Telangana) born boxer, Nikhat earned a comprehensive 5-0 win over Brazil’s Caroline De Almeida in the 52kg semi-final. On the other hand, Manisha (57 kg) and Parveen (63 kg) gave their all but lost 0-5 and 1-4 respectively against the Italian Irma Testa, bronze medalist of the Olympic Games 2020, and the Irish Amy Broadhurst .
Playing in her only second world championships, Nikhat will look to clinch gold on Thursday when she faces Thailand’s Jitpong Jutamas in the flyweight final. Jutamas upset experienced Kazakh boxer Zhaina Shekerbekova, a two-time World Championship medalist, 4-1 in the semifinals.
In India’s first fight of the day, Nikhat started cautiously but quickly shifted gears and launched into an all-out offensive, unleashing a flurry of punches. Her Brazilian opponent struggled to keep pace with a technically superior 25-year-old Indian, who seemed in command position after the first two rounds.
After taking the lead, former Junior World Champion, Nikhat didn’t let the momentum slip away in the final round as she moved around the ring, maintaining distance and also landing a few timely punches before picking up a dominating victory.
However, in the featherweight division, Manisha gave her best but struggled to cope with her strong Italian rival, who fought aggressively and didn’t give the Indian many chances. .
Parveen also faced a tough challenge from the Irish boxer in a more physical fight. Young Haryana, despite losing in the first round, recovered well and made an impressive comeback.
However, 2019 European Championships bronze medalists Broadhurst took the lead in the final round and won the intensely contested match in her favor, ending the Indian’s dream run on her debut in the prestigious event, which witnessed exciting action in the presence of 310 boxers. from 73 countries around the world.
This year’s tournament also marks the 20th anniversary of the Women’s World Championships.
In the last edition of the tournament, held in Russia in 2019, Indian boxers won one silver and three bronze. India have won 36 medals, including nine gold, eight silver and 19 bronze, in the 11 editions of the tournament so far, the third highest after Russia (60) and China (50) .
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