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Boxing World C'ships: Nikhat Zareen defeats top seed; Manisha wins

Indian juggernaut rolled further ahead at World Boxing Championships as Nikhat Zareen and Manisha Moun won their respective bouts.

Boxing World Cships: Nikhat Zareen defeats top seed; Manisha wins

Pritish Raj

Updated: 19 March 2023 11:50 AM GMT

New Delhi: A rather gloomy Sunday in the national capital turned cheerful when the chants of 'India India' started doing rounds after every punch of Nikhat Zareen in Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium here.

Reigning World Champion Nikhat Zareen won her second bout against top seed Roumaysa Boualam of Algeria by unanimous decision to move into the pre-quarterfinals of the 50kg category at the 2023 Women's World Championships.

Nikhat started her bout well by taking on the Algerian and landing clean punches to win the round 5-0. In the second round, the Algerian changed her strategy to counter Nikhat and won round 3:2.

It was the final round where Nikhat stamped her authority by counter-attacking against the Algerian to win the bout.

Talking to the media after her bout, Nikhat said, "I wanted to dominate her from the first round as she is seeded number one. Defeating the number one seed will give me more confidence. I have never played with her before, so this was my first time facing her. My strategy was to check in the first 10-15 mins and then prepare my attack on that basis."

"I have reached the top 16 now and I am taking one round at a time. As I keep moving forward, I will get tough opponents. So, I will make my strategy accordingly," she added further.

The chants of 'India, India' were countered with 'Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi' as Manisha Moun squared up against Tina Rahimi of Australia.

A bronze medalist from the 2022 World Championships, Manisha didn't take much time to figure out the strategy of the Australian. Using her nimble footwork, Manisha made sure to stay out of reach of Tina and landed her punches cleanly to win clearly in her first game.

Indian team coach Bhaskar Bhatt told the media, "We studied the game of Tina and we suggested Manisha stay out of reach and our strategy worked out as Manisha executed it perfectly."

"Our team of sports scientists, nutritionists, physiotherapists, and coaches work together to ensure the fitness and health of every player," Bhaskar said.

Till now only one Indian boxer has been knocked out with seven Indian boxers processing to the next rounds and four more to feature.

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