Indian pugilist Nikhat Zareen storms into the finals as she beats Brazil’s Caroline De Almeida in the 52kg category semi-finals of the 12th IBA Women’s Boxing World Championship. While Nikhat Zareen won her semifinal bout other Indian boxers Manisha Moun and Parveen Hooda had to settle for bronze medal as they were stopped in their tracks in the last four clash.
Manisha Moun in the 57kg category fought with a lot of heart but it was not enough as she was always second best against Italy’s Irma Testa as she won 5-0 against the Indian. Testa won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics and was an overwhelming favourite to win the match even before the semifinal started. Parveen Hooda who participated in the 63kg category also did really well until she met Ireland’s Amy Broadhurst. Parveen tried her best but it was not her day as the Irish pugilist took the advantage in the first round and never allowed her intensity to drop down as she won 4-1 to progress to the finals.
India’s only hope now is pinned on Nikhat Zareen who in her second World Championship will be gunning for Gold as she comes out to battle past Thailand’s Jutamas Jitpong in the finals. Jutamas stunned the two-time World Championships medallist Zaina Shekerbekova 4-1 in the semifinals. Shekerbekova who hails from Kazakhstan was the favourite to win the clash but Jutamas was simply sensational and did not allow her opponent any space to work her way through in the important clash.
Coming to Nikhat Zareen’s bout which was the first of the day among Indian boxers, Nikhat started cautiously and soon introduced her combination of punches at her Brazilian opponent. She went into an all offensive mode allowing her opponent no space to force her way out of the landing zone. Nikhat once again proved that she is one of the most technically sound boxers in the country and her pace allowed her to get the better off her opponent with relative ease.
The former junior World Champion will now look to continue her momentum in the finals as she will be keen to turn that into a senior medal as she has been fantastic throughout the Championship and will look to cap it of with a gold medal.