National women's boxing: Nikhat stunned in semifinal bout

Nikhat Zareen was stunned by Neeraja in a 51kg semifinal bout on the penultimate day of the National women's boxing championship at the Reserve Police Lines Hall here on Wednesday.

“I was shocked with the decision and my rival was surprised. There was no way she could win after getting two warnings,” said the heart-broken Nikhat Zareen (right) settling for a bronze.   -  y. b. sarangi

Nikhat Zareen was stunned by Neeraja in a 51kg semifinal bout on the penultimate day of the National women's boxing championship at the Reserve Police Lines Hall here on Wednesday.

Even after the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) chose to adopt manual scoring for the semifinals and final following errors in judging and scoring on Tuesday, former World junior champion Nikhat's 4-1 loss stood out as a glaring deviation.

Nikhat exhibited her combination of punches even as Neeraja tried to corner the Telengana girl and retaliate. Neeraja succeeded in landing some solid right hooks in the second round as Nikhat was not able to move away from her grasp after launching attacks.

Nikhat had a better control over the proceedings in the last two rounds. Neeraja pushed her Hyderabad opponent to the ropes and invited two warnings before being declared the winner. She was one of eight Haryana girls to make it to the finals.

“I was shocked with the decision and my rival was surprised. There was no way she could win after getting two warnings. The most surprising thing is the split decision was 4-1 and not 3-2,” said the heart-broken Nikhat settling for a bronze.

Priyanka Choudhary, a Railways boxer from Uttarakhand, ignored her friendship with Preeti Beniwal to register an emphatic win and reach the 60kg final.

Priyanka, who was named the best boxer in the 2014 Nationals in Raipur, used her familiarity with Preeti's style to employ good tactical moves on her way to post a 5-0 win.

Accomplished boxer Kavita Goyat, a 2010 Asian Games bronze-medallist, managed a hard-fought 3-2 win over Meena Rani of Railways to advance to the 75kg title clash.

Both boxers exchanged powerful punches and clung on to each other to often fall on the floor and remind one of a wrestling bout. Kavita mixed her left jabs and right hooks to good effect, while Meena replied with some accurate straight ones to give her a close chase.

Kavita, who was served a warning for clasping her opponent under her arm, heaved a sigh of relief after getting the verdict in her favour.

After spotting a mistake, the BFI reversed the result of an 82kg quarterfinal decision late on Tuesday and declared Lalafakmawii as the winner over Diksha. However, the Mizoram pugilist lost to two-time Worlds medallist Kavita Chahal in the last four.

The results (semifinals):

48kg: Krishna Thapa (Utk) bt Monika (Har) 3-2, Sarjubala Devi (Man) bt Rajesh Narwal (RSPB) 5-0.

51kg: Neeraja (Har) bt Nikhat Zareen (Tel) 4-1, Meenakshi (RSPB) bt Poonam Bist (Utk) 4-1.

54kg: Soniya (UP) bt Chanda (Mah) 5-0, Shiksha (Har) bt M. Meena Kumari (Ker) 5-0.

57kg: Soniya Chahal (Har) bt Shaily Singh (UP) 4-1, Kamla Bist (Utk) bt Sunita (AIP) 5-0.

60kg: Monika (Har) bt Bhagyashree (Mah) 5-0, Priyanka Choudhary (RSPB) bt Preeti Beniwal (AIP) 5-0.

64kg: Jyoti (Har) bt Akansha Mishra (Del) TKO (R3), Simranjit Kaur (Pun) bt Suman (AIP) 5-0.

69kg: Pooja (Har) bt Suman (RSPB) 3-2, Shashi Kala (HP) bt Sarika Kumari (Jha) 4-1.

75kg: Kavita Goyat (AIP) bt Meena Rani (RSPB) 3-2, Rumi Gogoi (Aru) bt Bunty (Har) 4-1.

81kg: Nirmala (AIP) bt Priya Madhuri (Tel) TKO (R1), Saweety Boora (Har) bt Bhagyavati K. (RSPB) 5-0.

82kg: Seema Poonia (RSPB) bt Amandeep Kaur (Pun) 5-0, Kavita Chahal (Har) bt Lalfakmawii (Miz) 4-1.