Nikhat Zareen overcomes hard-hitting Alvarez as Nitu, Manisha, Jaismine also move to quarters : The Tribune India

Women’s World Championships

Nikhat Zareen overcomes hard-hitting Alvarez as Nitu, Manisha, Jaismine also move to quarters

Nikhat Zareen overcomes hard-hitting Alvarez as Nitu, Manisha, Jaismine also move to quarters

Nikhat saw off Patricia Alvarez Herrera in a 5-0 win in the 50kg category. Photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui


New Delhi, March 21

A “fatigued” Nikhat Zareen continued her winning run to enter the quarterfinals along with two other pugilists at the Women’s World Championships here today.

Nikhat (50kg) saw off Mexico’s Patricia Alvarez Herrera with a 5-0 win. Commonwealth Games champion Nitu Ghanghas (48kg) won her bout in the first round against Sumaiya Qosimova of Tajikistan, while last edition’s bronze medallist Manisha Moun (57kg) got the better of Nur Elif Turhan of Turkey in the third round. Jaismine Lamboria (60kg) came from a round down to overpower Mijgona Samadova of Tajikistan.

Shashi Chopra (63kg), however, bowed out of the tournament after going down 0-4 to Mai Kito of Japan.

Nitu Ghanghas won her bout in the first round.Photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Nikhat took a few seconds to decipher her opponent’s game plan before going on the attack. She used her nimble feet to duck away from Herrera’s counterattacks.

Both the boxers have moved down from the 52kg weight division. Well aware of the Mexican’s aggressive style of play, Nikhat used her speed to land accurate jabs and hooks.

Herrera, whom Nikhat had beaten in the last edition, tried her best to shift the momentum in her favour but the Indian’s relentless attack proved too strong.

Manisha Moun celebrates beating Nur Elif Turhan.Photo: Manas Ranjan Bhui

Having already played three bouts, including one against the top seed, Nikhat is still three bouts away from the gold. “I still have some fatigue from my last round as it was against the top seed,” the unseeded Nikhat, who had several cuts on her lips, said after her bout.

Nikhat, however, was pleased to win by a unanimous decision. “It was tough and her punches landed pretty well so my neck was a little tight and my body a little slow compared to my last bout. But I am happy that I won unanimous this time. In my boxing career, this is the first competition that I’ll play six bouts because I didn’t get a seeding, but I am not focussing on that,” she said.

Earlier, in the opening session of the day, Nitu registered her second RSC win in as many bouts in the tournament. Both Nitu and Qosimova tried to figure out each other’s game, but then the Indian connected four straight jabs which forced the referee to give the opponent her first standing count.

Nitu continued her onslaught as she cornered the Tajikistan pugilist and pummelled her with straight jabs. The referee gave Qosimova her second standing count before calling the contest in the Indian’s favour much to the disappointment of

her opponent, who kept showing the thumbs

down gesture when the result was called.

The experienced Manisha used a straight jab followed by a combination of punches to assert her authority. Considerably taller than the Turkish boxer, Manisha unleashed right and left hooks followed by a straight jab.

Turhan looked to attack in the second round after receiving two standing counts in the first three minutes but Manisha continued landing hooks and jabs quite seamlessly. She kept moving around to dodge her opponent’s punches. A flurry of jabs and hooks by Manisha led the referee to stop the contest in favour of the home boxer with only a few seconds left for the final bell.

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