India’s Nikhat Zareen and Manisha Moun advanced to the next round of their respective weight classes at the current International Boxing Association (IBA) Women’s World Boxing Championship on Sunday. Both Nikhat and Manisha entered the round of 16.
Nikhat, 26, edged out Algeria’s Boualam Roumaysa 5-0 to advance to the 50kg group quarterfinals. While Manisha defeated Australia’s Rahimi Tina 5-0 to advance to the 57kg pre-quarterfinals.
Unfazed by the Algerian being ranked No. 1 in the 50kg group, Nikhat gradually worked her way up to tighten her grip on the competition. Unseeded in the 50kg group, Nikhat Zareen’s strategy was to dominate from the first round, but she took at least 15 seconds to watch and wait for her higher-ranked opponent before attacking.
Boualam seemed a bit confused. So, I took the initiative to take the first step and attack,” Nikhat revealed in the post-match interaction. “Boualam is an aggressive boxer and I also decided to keep my distance. My strategy has worked for me.”
Nikhat Zareen is considered one of the strongest contenders for the 50 kg title at the 2023 edition of the Women’s World Boxing Championships. At the previous edition of the World Championships in Turkey, she won gold in the 52 kg category. According to Nikhat, she does not believe in past performances and is aware that the competition will be more challenging in the next round.
“All the female boxers competing in the 2023 World Boxing Championships for Women are good,” said Nikhat Zareen. “I am climbing the ladder step by step at the 2023 World Championships. I will plan a new strategy for the pre-quarterfinals and hopefully succeed.”
Manisha’s rival from Australia looked a bit rusty and the first took the opportunity to dominate from the “word that goes”. After stamping her authority in the first round, Manisha didn’t have to exert herself much as Rahimi from Down Under looked practically tired and her punches were wide, which turned out to be to the Indian boxer’s advantage.