Indian boxers Nikhat Zareen (52kg), Parveen (63kg) and Manisha (57kg) advanced to the second and third rounds of the IBA Women's World Boxing Championships in Istanbul after clinching impressive wins in their respective bouts on Wednesday.
Zareen outpunched Mexico's Herrera Alvarez 5-0, while Parveen defeated Ukraine's Mariia Bova by a similar margin. Manisha, who received a bye in the opening round, too prevailed by an unanimous decision against Kala Thapa of Nepal to make her way into the third round. In the last bout of the day, Saweety (75kg) went down to England's Kerry Davis via a 2-3 split decision.
Zareen, who won the gold at the prestigious Strandja Memorial earlier this year, continued her winning run as she dispatched Alvarez without breaking a sweat. The 2019 Asian Championships bronze medallist was in complete control throughout the bout, making use of her long reach. She attacked with some sharp and precise punches in her opening bout. The 25-year-old Telangana boxer will square off against 2021 Asian Championships bronze medallist Mongolia's Lutsaikhany Altantsetseg next.
Parveen, the 22-year-old from Haryana, won by an unanimous decision against the much more experienced Ukranian boxer, who is 12 years her senior, in the light welter division to set the tone for the Indian boxers. Although the 2017 youth national winner began on an aggressive note, she was edged out by Bova in the opening round, who matched Parveen's energy.
But the Indian showed amazing tenacity as she upped the ante in the second round. She attacked the 34-year-old Ukrainian, landing a flurry of punches to eventually seal the tie in her favour. After an impressive start to her campaign, Parveen will be up against the former Youth Olympics champion Jajaira Gonzalez of USA in the pre-quarter finals on Sunday. Manisha, like Zareen and Parveen, didn't have to dig deep as she too eked out an easy win against Thapa.
The tournament features 310 boxers from 73 countries across the world. On Thursday, 2021 Asian Championships bronze medallist Jaismine (60kg), Anamika (50kg) and Shiksha (54kg) will start their campaigns in the round of 32. Jaismine will face a challenge from the two-time Youth Asian Champion Porntip Buapa of Thailand in the 60kg category, while Anamika will fight against Romania's Eugenia Anghel.
Shiksha, who was handed a bye in the opening round, will play Argentina's Herrera Milagros Rosario in the 54kg match. In the last edition of the tournament, held in Russia in 2019, Indian boxers secured one silver and three bronze medals.