Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Women’s World Boxing: Nikhat, Lovlina, Saweety, Nitu punch their way into SFs

Tournament favourites Nikhat Zareen and Lovlina Borgohain lived up to expectations as they secured medals for India with quarterfinal wins, alongside two other home boxers at the ongoing Women’s Boxing World Championships here on Wednesday.
Competing in new weight classes, reigning champion Nikhat (50kg) eked out a 5-2 win over Thailand’s Chuthamat Raksat to secure her second world’s medal and then Lovlina (75kg) added a third medal in her kitty with a 5-0 win over Adosinda Rady Gramane of Mozambique.
Apart from the duo, Commonwealth Games champion Nitu Ghanghas (48kg) and the seasoned Saweety Boora (81kg) also moved to the semifinals.
For India, however, it was a roller coaster day as four pugilists — Sakshi Choudhary (52kg), last edition’s bronze medallist Manisha Moun (57kg), CWG bronze medallist Jaismine Lamboria (60kg) and Nupur Sheoran (+81kg) failed to move to the last four stage.
While Sakshi lost to Yu Wu of China 0-5, Manisha was outplayed by a 1-4 margin by Amina Zidani of France.
Like last year, Jaismine faltered in the quarterfinal stage once again, falling 0-5 to Colombia’s Paola Valdez. Nupur went down fighting to Lazzat Kungeibayeva of Kazakhstan 3-4 after a bout review.
Nikhat, Lovlina march on
Nikhat had to dig deep to get a favourable decision against two-time world championships bronze medallist. She attacked cautiously in the first two rounds hitting clean punches.
Nikhat will face Rio Olympics bronze medallist Ingrit Valencia of Colombia in the semifinals.
Lovlina, who has endured a rough patch since winning the Olympics bronze, put up a much better performance than her previous round as she controlled the proceedings.
Unstoppable Nitu
The first Indian to take the ring, 22-year-old Nitu notched up a second-round RSC (referee stops contest) win over Madoka Wada of Japan in her quarterfinal bout.
Nitu looked a bit tentative at first but as the seconds ticked, she gained confidence and attacked her opponent.
Nitu has won all her three bouts in the tournament so far by RSC verdicts.
She will take on reigning Asian champion and last year’s silver medallist Alua Balkibekova of Kazakhstan in the semis.
Saweety starts strong
Saweety, playing her first bout of the tournament, lived up to her top seeding to dispatch 2018 bronze-medal winner Viktoriya Kebikava of Belarus 5-0 to confirm her second world championship medal. She had won the silver in 2014.
Multiple-time national champion Saweety, who received a first-round bye, was just one win away from a medal and the 30-year-old managed to earn it comfortably. The bout between the two light heavyweight boxers was a messy affaire filled with body blows. But Saweety defended and attacked well, landing hooks and jabs with ease.
Saweety will be facing Emma-Sue Greentree of Australia in her next bout.


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