Nikhat Zareen, Shiva Thapa enter quarters of Strandja Memorial Boxing Tourney

Defending champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) sailed into the quarterfinals of the Strandja Memorial after her rival Sevda Asenova abandoned their second-round bout.

Indian boxer Nikhat Zareen was declared the winner after Sevda Asenova forfeited during the opening round of the bout. (File photo)   -  FILE PHOTO/ RITU RAJ KONWAR

Four-time Asian medallist Shiva Thapa (63kg) and defending champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) on Wednesday sailed into the quarterfinals of the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament with resounding victories in their second-round bouts in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Zareen was declared the winner after local favourite Sevda Asenova forfeited during the opening round of the contest. Asenova was a former gold-medallist at the event, which is into its 71st edition this year.

Former world bronze-medallist Thapa defeated Poland’s Pavel Polakovic 5-0 in his last 16 stage clash. He had received an opening round bye.

In other men’s bouts, Commonwealth Games bronze-winner Mohammed Hussamuddin (57kg) advanced after defeating France’s Enzo Grau in a 1-4 verdict.

There was disappointment elsewhere as India endured six opening-round defeats on Tuesday evening.

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Among the men, South Asian Games gold-medallist Ankit Khatana (75kg), Asian silver-medallist Deepak Kumar (52kg), Narender (+91kg), and Naveen Kumar (91kg) made early exits.

Nupur (75kg) and Lalita (69kg) were the ones to bow out in the women’s draw. Nupur was outpunched 0-5 by France’s Davina Michel, while Lalita lost 1-4 to Poland’s Karolina Koszewska.

Khatana was beaten 0-5 by the USA’s Javier Martinez. Narender also lost by a similar margin to another American -- Richard Torrez Jr.

Deepak went down 1-4 to Spain’s Gabriel Escobar. Naveen lost 0-5 to Italy’s Abbes Mouhiidine.