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Boxing World C'ships: Nikhat Zareen battles fatigue to reach quarters

A fatigued yet clinical Nikhat Zareen defeated Patricia Alvarez Herrera of Mexico to reach the quarter-finals of the Boxing World Championships.

Nikhat Zareen Boxing

Nikhat Zareen


Pritish Raj

Updated: 21 March 2023 3:24 PM GMT

New Delhi: The movement in the ring was slow and she was figuring out her opponent before using her nimble feet to duck and land some punches on the Mexican opponent Patricia Alvarez Herrera.

Reigning World Champion Nikhat Zareen was fatigued before her pre-quarters bout at the ongoing Boxing World Championships but came out as the winner to reach the quarter-finals in the 50 kg category.

"Last time when I faced her it was easy but due to fatigue from yesterday's bout against the Algerian, it was a little tough. My body was a little tired but as the bout went ahead the body started responding better," Nikhat told the media in the mixed zone after her win.

"The punches in the last round landed on my neck and it made my neck a bit stiff. I was slow also as compared to other bouts but I am happy that I won unanimously," she added further.

Both the boxers have moved down from 52 kg to 50 kg and have faced each other before with Nikhat winning the bout. Well aware of her opponent's game, Nikhat used her straight jabs and speedy hooks to defeat her.

Talking about her strategy, Nikhat said, "I faced this boxer earlier in last year's World Championships and won both times by unanimous decision. She was aggressive last time as well and both of us have moved down to 50 kg from 52 kg. My speed helped me get better off her."

Nikhat Zareen gave an autograph to her fan after reaching quarters at Boxing World Championships. (PritishRaj/TheBridge)

Unseeded in this World Championships, Nikhat Zareen has played three bouts already and is three bouts far from a gold medal at the moment. "This is the first time in my career that I will box in six bouts and all that is the cause of me being unseeded. Although I am okay with this as I have defeated the top seed and I am taking on the matches one by one," said Nikhat.

Having the longest route means Nikhat has to manage her body well with the crucial stage of the tournament starting tomorrow.

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