Seeking another title in a different weight category, Nikhat Zareen, the 52kg World champion, overcame top seed Roumaysa Boualam of Algeria in a hard-fought 50kg second round bout at the World women’s boxing championships at the K.D. Jadhav Hall here on Sunday.
Following Nikhat’s 5-0 victory over African and Mediterranean Games champion Roumaysa, Manisha Moun (57kg) got off the block nicely by posting a convincing 5-0 win over Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Tina Rahimi to make it a perfect day for the sparse home fans thronging the venue.
Nikhat, who began cautiously, hit the target to prevail over her aggressive opponent in the opening round, which saw the trading of punches in the first-ever meeting between the two.
Even as Roumaysa continued to attack and conceded a caution point in the process, Nikhat executed her counters well to take the second round by a slender margin.
Nikhat maintained a safe distance and continued to land scoring punches in the third round to set up a pre-quarterfinal date with Mexico’s Fatima Herrera Alvarez in a rematch of last edition’s Round of 32 bout.
“She (Roumaysa) is a fighter and gets aggressive if her opponent is in close range. I wanted to box from a distance,” said Nikhat.
Manisha, a bronze medallist of the previous edition, displayed her lovely ring craft and movement to control the bout and gain ground through her accuracy. A good assortment of jabs and combinations helped Manisha sail smoothly to the last 16, where she would face Turkey’s Elifnur Turhan.
Important results (preliminary rounds):
50kg: Nikhat Zareen bt Roumaysa (Alg) 5-0, Caroline de Almeida (Bra) bt Yana Burym (Blr) 5-0; Chuthmat Raksat (Tha) bt Aziza Ykubova (Uzb); Ingrit Valencia (Col) bt Mbithe Veronica (Ken) RSC-R2; Giordana Sorrentino (Ita) bt Ekaterina Paltseva (Rus) 4-1
57kg: Irma Testa (Ita) bt Leilany Moreno (Gua) 4-1; Nguyen Thi Thanh Hao (Vie) bt Sbusisiwe Phiwokuhle (RSA) 4-1; Ashleyann Motta (Pur) bt Zichun Xu (Chn) 4-3; Amina Zidani (Fra) bt Liudmila Vorontsova (Rus) 5-0; Manisha Moun bt Tina Rahimi (Aus) 5-0.
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