Women’s Boxing World Championship: Nikhat, Manisha in pre-quarterfinals

India’s star boxer Nikhat Zareen stormed into the pre-quarterfinals of the Women’s World Championship after defeating Algeria’s Boualam Romaysa, here on Sunday. Last year’s bronze medalist Manisha Maun (57kg) also defeated Australia’s Rahimi Tina by 5. Made it to the last 16 by defeating 0. Competing in the 50kg event, Nikhat registered her second win of the tournament by defeating the defending African champion with a 5-0 unanimous decision. Both the boxers started off cautiously and kept a safe distance.

Nikhat, who had won the gold medal in the previous round, scored the first point. The Algerian boxer then got a point after which both the boxers tried to topple each other. While Nikhat scored points by landing ‘combination’ punches, Romaysa took advantage of the Indian boxer’s ‘open guard’ (playing with his guard down) and landed several punches. The first round went in Nikhat’s favor and in the second too, she did not give any chance to Romaysa who was trying to be aggressive.

Then both went on the offensive and locked each other but in the end Nikhat won at the KD Jadhav Stadium. “Today my strategy was to dominate as Romaysa was the top seeded boxer,” Nikhat said after the bout. There is an advantage of preference. I also got preference. If I beat the top seed, it affects the ‘judges’. He said, “I have seen his matches. If you play close to her, she becomes very dominant. So my goal was to land punches from a distance, although ‘clinching’ happened. ,

Nikhat will now face Mexico’s Herrera Alvarez Fatima, who had faced her in the Round of 32 encounter in the previous stage. Whereas Manisha will now face Turkey’s Noor Elif Turhan. On Monday, Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg), Sakshi Chowdhary (52kg) and Preeti (54kg) will enter the ring for their prequarterfinals.

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