India’s Nikhat Zareen and Manisha Moun advanced into the next round of their respective weight categories at the ongoing International Boxing Association (IBA) Women’s World Boxing Championships on Sunday. Both Nikhat and Manisha entered the round of 16.
Nikhat, 26, outplayed Algeria’s Boualam Roumaysa 5-0 to advance into the pre-quarterfinals of the 50kg group. While Manisha defeated Australia’s Rahimi Tina 5-0 to move into the pre-quarterfinals of 57kg.
Unfazed about the Algerian being ranked No.1 in the 50kg group, Nikhat gradually worked her way to tighten her grip over the contest. Unseeded in the 50kg group, Nikhat Zareen’s strategy was to dominate from the first round, but she took at least 15 seconds to watch and wait for her higher-ranked rival before going for an attack.
“Boualam looked bit confused. So, I took the initiative to make the first move and go for an attack,” Nikhat revealed in the post-match interaction. “Boualam is an aggressive boxer and I also decided to keep my distance. My strategy has worked out for me.”
Nikhat Zareen is considered one of the strongest contenders for the 50kg title in the 2023 edition of the Women’s World Boxing Championships. In the previous edition of the World Championships in Turkey, she won gold in the 52kg category. According to Nikhat, she doesn’t believe in past performances and is aware that the competition will get more challenging in the next round.
“All boxers competing at the 2023 Women’s World Boxing Championships are good,” Nikhat Zareen said. “I am moving up the ladder step by step in the 2023 World Championships. I will plan out a new strategy for the pre-quarterfinals and hopefully, I will be successful.”
Manisha’s rival from Australia looked a bit rusty and the former took advantage to dominate from the “word go”. After stamping her authority in the first round, Manisha didn’t have to work hard as Rahimi from Down Under virtually looked tired and her punches were off target, which proved to be an advantage for the Indian boxer.