Four Indian boxers, including Asian Championships bronze medallist Nikhat Zareen (52kg), registered contrasting but exhilarating victories against their respective opponents to storm into the quarterfinals of the IBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Istanbul on Sunday. (More Sports News)
Nikhat made light work of Mongolia's Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg, the 2021 Asian Championships bronze medallist, to win by a 5-0 unanimous verdict.
Parveen (63kg) then displayed her attacking prowess to out-punch former Youth Olympic champion Jajaira Gonzalez of USA 5-0, while Anamika (50kg) dispatched world championships bronze medallist Kristy Lee Harris of Australia with an identical margin.
However, the most power packed performance of the day belonged to Jaismine (60kg) who pummelled Australia’s Angela Harries, forcing the referee to stop the contest in the the first round itself.
She will square off against 2019 World Championships bronze medallist Rashida Ellis in the last-eight stage.
But, it was curtains for Shiksha (54kg) and Ankushita (66kg).
While Shiksha went down by a 2-3 split decision to Youth Asian bronze medallist Yesugen Oyuntsetseg of Mongolia, Ankushita lost to Poland’s Aneta Rygielska via a 0-5 unanimous verdict.
Nikhat was the first Indian in action on Sunday and she completely dominated from start to finish in her round of 16 bout.
The Telangana boxer used her quick hands to great effect and landed a flurry of straight punches on her rival’s face in all the three rounds.
The highlight of Nikhat’s display was her immaculate footwork and speed, which the Mongolian found difficult to handle.
Nikhat will next face England’s Charley Davison, who defeated Hainite Kayla of Togo in the round of 16.
Parveen, on the other hand, played a smart game throughout the entire nine minutes. The lanky Indian preferred to stay back and play the waiting game. Her strategy succeeded as she used her long reach to great effect, landing straight punches from distance on the American whenever she got the opening.
She continued with the same tactic in all the three rounds and managed to easily pocket the bout by a unanimous decision.
Parveen will next face Shoira Zulkaynarova of Tajikistan in the quarterfinal.
Anamika countered her short height with aggressive intent as she rattled her opponent in the opening round. Her quick hands and nimble footwork proved to be too good for the Australian, who struggled to land clear cut punches.
She will next face Rio Olympic bronze medallist Ingrit Valencia in the quarterfinal.
A slow and defensive start cost Shiksha dearly in her 54kg bout as she took time to get into the groove in the first round, which the Mongolian won.
But the Indian came back strongly in the second round and adopted a more aggressive approach which paid rich dividends for her as she won the round.
However, she couldn’t hold on to her tempo in the final round as Oyuntsetseg waited for openings to land her punches and succeed in her ploy to pocket the close contest.
Apart from Nikhat and Anamika, Parveen and Jaismine, Nitu (48kg), Manisha (57kg), Pooja Rani (75kg) and Nandini (81+kg) have qualified for the quarterfinals.
All eight boxers will be in action on Monday.