Nikhat Zareen secured a stoppage win over Ismayilova Anakhanim of Azerbaijan in the preliminary round of the women’s 50kg category at the Women’s Boxing World Championships on Thursday. The fight stopped in the second round after the third standing count for the Azeri. Nikhat will next face top seed, 2022 African champion Roumaysa Boualam, in the round of 32.
“I am happy that with my win India’s campaign has kicked off. I had boxed her before and made my plans as per her gameplan which helped me,” Nikhat said after the win.
On being unseeded, Nikhat said, “It’s not a problem. That’s the thing about draws, anyone can get any seeding. It doesn’t matter but my draw is good, as the competition goes on I’ll get tough opponents.”
Nikhat won the Strandja Memorial, World Championships and Commonwealth Games last year. She has switched to the 50kg category, which has replaced 52kg as an Olympic weight category. She had won the 50kg gold at the Commonwealth Games. Nikhat is also the reigning 52kg World Gold medallist.
Meanwhile, Sakshi beat Colombia’s Jose Maria Martinez by unanimous decision 5-0 in the first round.