Riding on impressive performances, star Indian pugilists Nitu Ghanghas, Nikhat Zareen and Saweety Boora registered thumping victories to confirm at least three medals for India at the Mahindra IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships by advancing to the semi-finals at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex here on Wednesday.
Squaring off against the two-time Worlds bronze medallist Madoka Wada of Japan, the 2022 Commonwealth Games champion Nitu Ghanghas (48kg) secured a scintillating win with the Referee Stops Contest (RSC) verdict in the second round of the bout. With an attacking approach from the word go, the 22 year old hardly had to break a sweat against the veteran Japenese and was in complete control of the bout (Women’s World Boxing Championships).
The Indian will now take on the reigning Asian champion and last year’s World Championships silver medallist Alua Balkibekova of Kazakhstan in what will be a rematch of last year’s World Championships quarter finals. Following Nitu’s victory, Nikhat (50kg) successfully continued her title defence by recording a hard-fought 5-2 win on points after the bout was reviewed against the two-time World Championships bronze medallist Chuthamat Raksat of Thailand.
Both pugilists were at the top of their game and gave it their all to emerge victorious in this bout that went right down the wire. However it was the 26 year old Indian who utilized her superior technical ability to edge out her Thai opponent and come out on top with the win. Nikhat will face Rio Olympics bronze medallist Ingrit Valencia of Colombia in the semi-finals.
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Contrary to Nikhat Zareen, the three-time Asian medallist Saweety (81kg) recorded a dominating 5-0 win against the 2018 World Championships bronze medallist Viktoria Kebikava of Belarus. In what was her first match of the tournament, the experienced pugilist from Haryana was extremely confident throughout the bout and landed strong, accurate punches to seal the win. She will be going up against Emma-Sue Greentree of Australia in her next bout.