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Women's World Boxing C'Ship: Nikhat Zareen outclasses Algerian pugilist to reach pre-quarters

New Delhi, March 19 (IANS) India’s reigning champion Nikhat Zareen continued her dominant run as she defeated Boualam Roumaysa of Algeria 5-0 to reach the pre-quarterfinals in the 50kg weight category in the Mahindra IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships being held at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex here on Sunday.

Nikhat, who won gold in the previous edition and is also a Commonwealth Games gold medallist at Birmingham in 2022, came out aggressively from the first round and dominated her opponent to register a unanimous decision in their Round of 32 bout here.

“I was under a bit of pressure initially as the Algerian boxer is seeded first here. So, I planned to be aggressive from the start and dominate her. I was happy to manage to implement my tactics and get a unanimous decision,” Nikhat said after her win.

In the bout held in Ring A at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex here on Sunday, Nikhat came out attacking and maintained a steady flurry of punches throughout the bout to overcome Boualam Roumaysa.

“I thought if I beat the top-seeded boxers comprehensively in the initial rounds, then it will make a good impact on the judges,” said Nikhat.

The pugilist from Nizamabad in Telangana said she was not under any pressure in the bout and she planned to attack from the start. I have seen her bouts and know that she is quite dangerous and aggressive when fighting from close.

“So, I decided to maintain a distance and use my reach to attack her. There was a bit of clinching on some occasions but overall I did not give her many chances. It was nice to win the bout and reach the last 16,” said the top Indian pugilist, who said she will take it bout by bout as there are some tough opponents from Russia and Italy still in the fray.

She credited the support from the huge holiday crowd for spurring her on and said it was nice to see people come out and support the Indian boxers.

“It was nice to play in front of the home crowd. Their support was very encouraging. It was nice to see so many people come out to support the boxers,” she said.



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