Nikhat Zareen won gold in the 48-50 kg finals against Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Tam on Sunday at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in New Delhi. Thi Tam, the first Vietnamese boxer to reach a World Championship final, was defeated by the Indian pugilist via unanimous decision.
The Indian star boxer began to fight aggressively, but Thi Tam kept things under control. Nikhat then landed a left jab on her opponent before launching into a barrage of punches. With the coach screaming “duur se, samne mat ja” (keep your distance, avoid getting too close), Nikhat did the same and initiated a barrage of punches while keeping a good distance. Because of Nikhat’s dominance, the initial round was ruled in his favor by all five judges.
In the second round, Thi Tam displayed excellent resiliency, but Nikhat kept up her stakes. Thi Tam, on the other hand, won the next round 3-2.
In the final round, both boxers delivered a neck-and-neck battle. But Nikhat kept his distance and continued to amaze Thi Tam with a perfect blend of offense and defense.
“I’m ecstatic to have won the World Championship for the second time.” I am grateful to everyone who helped me. This medal is in honor of my home country, India. It was a tough contest, but I came out on top with a gold medal, “Nikhat spoke after her fight.
The semifinal match against Colombia’s Ingrit Valencia was won 5-0 by Nikhat, capping off a dominant run that brought her to the championship match. At the Tokyo Olympics, Valencia defeated India’s iconic boxer, MC Mary Kom. She faced Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat in the quarterfinals, which she won 5-2 on a split decision.
Nikhat won two gold medals at the World Championships, the first in the 52 kg category last year.
Nitu Ghanghas (48 kg) and Saweety Boora (81 kg) were awarded the title of world champions on Saturday.
Hosts India are on track to match their best-ever gold medal haul, with Olympic medalist Lovlina Borgohain also set to compete later.
India took home four gold medals in the 2006 competition, which was also the nation’s best-ever performance with a total of eight medals, including a silver.
Indian boxers are having a very successful campaign in the world championship and are making the country proud by winning back to back gold medals.