Women’s World Boxing C’ships: Nikhat, Manisha enter pre-quarters; Lovlina starts campaign on Monday

NEW DELHI, March 19: Top Indian boxers Nikhat Zareen and Manisha Moun dominate day 4 of Mahindra IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships with a unanimous decision at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex on Sunday Advance to the quarterfinals after the same victory.

Nikhat was at her best as she beat top seed Algeria’s Boualam Roumaysa 5-0 in the 50kg division. The reigning world champion established his dominance over the Algerian from the start and won the first round with precise, powerful punches.

The 26-year-old kept his momentum going from the first round and overpowered his opponents in the next two rounds, winning by unanimous decision.

After the excellent win, Nikhat said: “My strategy today was to dominate from the first round because she (Roumaysa) is the top seed and has the advantage. I have never played against her before, but I have Watched her fights. She’s a fighter and if someone gets close to her she can get aggressive, so my strategy is to fight from a distance. From time to time there are some fights, but in the end I win, so I very happy.

Nikhat will now face Mexico’s Herrera Alvarez Fatima in what will be a rematch of the last 32 bout between the two boxers.

Similar to Nehat, 2022 World Championships bronze medalist Manisha (57kg) also won 5-0 over Australia’s Tina Rahimi. Marked a successful day for the India office.

Starting on the front foot, the 25-year-old boxer from Haryana was on cruise control throughout the bout, giving her opponent no chance to comeback.

“Although we had made a strategy for this fight beforehand, the coach’s advice between fights helped me understand my opponent’s mentality, hit my punch perfectly and conserve my energy. I’m here to fight, I carry the weight of my country on my shoulders and it feels great. I would like to thank the Indians for their amazing support, which has been crucial in helping female boxers to qualify,” said Manisha.

Manisha will face Turkey’s Nur Elif Turhan in the next round.

Meanwhile, Colombia’s Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medalist Ingrit Valencia (50kg) also started her campaign with victory, beating Kenya’s Nziva in the second round by a referee stop (RSC) decision. Veronica Mbithe. The honored Colombian barely broke a sweat during her game, using her immense strength and experience to outshine her opponents to seal victory.

Another Olympic medalist, Italy’s Irma Testa clinched victory over Guatemala’s Reyes Moreno Lelani Noshbet 4-1 in the 57kg category. The top-seeded Italian, who won a bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, didn’t take the challenge lightly, but used her technical prowess to get the job done.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg) will join Sakshi Chaudhary (52kg) and Preeti (54kg) in their preseason match on Monday. Lovlina will face Mexico’s Citalli Ortiz, while Sakshi and Preeti will face Uzbekistan’s Urakbayeva Zhazira and Thailand’s Jutamas Jitpong, respectively.

China’s 2018 world champion Li Qian (75kg), who also has two Olympic medals, will also compete in her competition opener on Monday.

The ongoing event sees the participation of 324 boxers from 65 countries, including several Olympic medalists, vying for the title in 12 weight classes. The tournament has a prize pool of up to INR 200 crore.


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