Nikhat Zareen, the fighter from Telangana, bringing a Women's World Boxing Championship medal home

Nikhat Zareen takes on Brazilian Caroline De Almeida in 52kg semifinals of the Women's World Boxing Championship in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Nikhat Zareen

Nikhat Zareen, hailing from Nizamabad in Telangana, has been making headlines since her days as a junior boxer. She first hogged the limelight when she emerged as the World junior champion in 50kg in Antalya, Turkey, in 2011.

It took her some time to establish herself at the elite level. A shoulder injury posed hurdles for the youngster’s growth.

However, the gritty boxer worked on her game with American coach Ron Simms at the Inspire Institute of Sports (IIS) and made steady improvement with fine results at top level events.

A gold at 2019 the Strandja tournament in Sofia, a bronze at the Asian championships in Bangkok, a silver at the Thailand Open in Bangkok and a bronze at the India Open in Guwahati in 2019 really put her career back on track before unwanted publicity because of her on and off the ring tussle with the legendary M.C. Mary Kom provided some unnecessary distraction.

But nothing could deter Nikhat as she spent her pocket to get back in shape after the pandemic and made headlines by beating two World champions (Paltceva Ekaterina of Russia and Nazym Kyzaibay of Kazakhstan) before losing to a Worlds silver medallist (Busenaz Cakiroglu of Turkey) to take the bronze medal in the Bosphorus tournament in Istanbul in March last year.

Nikhat, who turns 26 next month, continued her upward march by securing the National title in 52kg in 2021 and stamped her class by entering the medal round in the World championships in 2022, again in Turkey.

In the semifinal, Nikhat will take on Brazilian Caroline De Almeida on Wednesday.

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