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Who Is Nikhat Zareen: With A Fist Of Fury How Boxer Emerged From The Shadows Of Mary Kom

Nikhat Zareen on Thursday became the fifth Indian boxer to win a Women's World Boxing Championships gold. She beat Jitpong Jutamas in final.

Nikhat Zareen is a former junior world champion (2011) and won bronze at the 2019 Asian Championship.
Nikhat Zareen is a former junior world champion (2011) and won bronze at the 2019 Asian Championship. Photo: Boxing Federation Of India

Born in the wrong era! This best sums up Nikhat Zareen's plight. After all, she has spent most of her formative years fighting, on and off the ring, probably the greatest woman boxer in history. But the 25-year-old is writing her own story. (More Sports News)

On Thursday, Nikhat Zareen joined MC Mary Kom, Sarita Laishram, Jenny RL and Lekha Kozhummel Chettadi as the only Indian women boxers with a world title. All she needed was a win against Thailand's Jitpong Jutamas (52kg) in Istanbul and she did that quite comprehensively. Nikhat, the 2019 Asian Championship bronze medallist, thrashed Jutamas 5-0 in the final.

So, who is Nikhat Zareen?

In February, she became the first Indian woman boxer to claim two gold medals at the Strandja Memorial.

The Nizamabad (Telangana) native is also a former junior world champion (2011) and won bronze at the 2019 Asian Championship.

Born on June 14, 1996, Nikhat Zareen is currently pursuing a degree in Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) from the AV College in Hyderabad.

She joined the Vishakapatnam centre of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in 2009.

Nikhat Zareen is also known as bete noire of Six-time world champion and Olympic medallist MC Mary Kom. They were involved in a controversy before the 2019 World Championship.

Boxing Federation of India cancelled the selection trials for the flyweight category abruptly, on the morning of the event, saying Mary Kom gives India the best medal chance.

Nikhat Zareen then wrote a complaint, demanding a fair trial.

The response from Mary Kom: "Who is Nikhat Zareen?"

As it turned out, Nikhat Zareen lost to Mary Kom in the rescheduled trial.

For the record, Mary Kom, 39, has made way for "to give opportunity to the younger generation to make a name for themselves on the international stage and get exposure and experience of major tournaments."

The 39-year-old skipped the Istanbul Worlds, but is focussed "on the preparation for the Commonwealth Games only."

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