Nitu shines on debut, enters second round at IBA Worlds

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Nikhat Zareen among four Indians to begin challenge on Day 3

Indian boxer Nitu put up a dazzling show on her debut at the 12th edition of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships and entered the 48kg second round after outpunching Romania’s Steluta Duta 5-0 in Istanbul on Monday.

An exciting bout that saw both the boxers starting dominantly from the word go as they exchanged continuous punches in an intense fast-paced opening round. However, the 21-year-old from Bhiwani, Nitu, who won the gold medal at the 2022 Strandja Boxing Tournament earlier in February, did manage to make an impression as the bout progressed.

Source BFI

The last three minutes were also pretty close and saw fierce battle between the two, but this time the Indian stepped up brilliantly and looked in good control, moving around the ring effortlessly.

Source BFI

The 2017 Youth World Champion Nitu will now face Spain’s Lopez Del Arbol Marta in the Last-16 match on Saturday. Lopez defeated Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Thu Nhi by unanimous decision in the opening round match.

On Wednesday, four Indians will be seen in action. 2019 Asian Championships bronze medallist Nikhat Zareen will kickstart her campaign against Mexico’s Herrera Alvarez in the 52kg opening round match.

Manisha (57kg), Parveen (63kg) and Saweety (75kg) are the country’s three other pugilists who will also begin their challenge in the round-of-32 on the third day of the prestigious event, which has been witnessing a record participation of 310 boxers from 73 countries across the world.

Manisha, who received a bye in the opening round, will square off against Nepal’s Kala Thapa while Parveen and Saweety will take on Ukraine’s Mariia Bova and England’s Kerry Davis respectively.

Earlier on the opening day of the competition, Lovlina Borgohain made a winning return to the international circuit after clinching a thrilling 3-2 victory against the two-time World Championships medallist Chen Nien-Chin of Chinese Taipei. It was Lovlina’s first international match after winning the bronze medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

“After learning so much at the Olympics, I had worked very hard on my game and today, I wanted to gauge my progress. It was a tough bout but with the support of everyone, I could do well. I will keep trying to do well in the coming matches and win gold for India,” the 24-year-old boxer from Assam said after the win.

This year’s World Championships, which will be played till May 20, also marks the 20th anniversary of the event.

Indian boxers have won 36 medals, including nine gold, eight silver and 19 bronze, in the 11 previous editions of the tournament, which is the third highest after Russia (60) and China (50). In the last edition of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships, held in Russia in 2019, Indians concluded with one silver and three bronze medals.

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