Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen defeated Anakhanim Ismayilova in the first round of the Women’s World Championships on Thursday, setting the stage for her successful defense of her title.
The home favorite Nikhat performed admirably in his opening match of the tournament. The Commonwealth Games gold medalist from 2022 took her time evaluating her opponent in the 50 kg weight class, but once she understood the Azerbaijani boxer’s strategy, there was no stopping her.
Despite being the champion, Nikhat, who is unseeded, was at her most aggressive as she landed a flurry of combination punches on her opponent.
Such was the Indian’s mastery that the official needed to give Ismayilova the ‘count’ threefold prior to halting the challenge in the subsequent round.
Nikhat stated, “It’s not a problem” regarding being unseeded. The problem with draws is that anyone can obtain any seeding. It doesn’t matter, my draw is good, and I’ll face tough opponents throughout the competition. In the round of 32, Nikhat will face the top seed, African champion Roumaysa Boualam from 2022.
I am familiar with that boxer, but I have not played her. I’m pleased that India’s first fight started with me, and I hope to end it. In the first round, Sakshi (52 kg) defeated Martinez Maria Jose of Colombia by 5-0 unanimous decision and advanced to the pre-quarterfinals.
The Indian debutante jabbed her way through the fast-paced fight between debutant Sakshi and Jose.
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