Zareen becomes world champion, only fifth Indian woman boxer to achieve feat

May 20, 2022

BoxingWorld Championships


Nikhat Zareen, shedding tears of joy, hugged coach Bhaskar Bhatt after earning a 5-0 unanimous decision over Thailand’s Jutamas Jitpong to become the world champion in the 52kg division at the World Championships in Istanbul today.

After her victory, Bhatt lifted Nikhat to his shoulder and she went out of the hall in a blaze of glory, amidst camera flashes and applause from the stands.

This glory was well earned for the 25-year-old boxer from Nizamabad in Telangana: She not only won the biggest prize of her start-stop career, but she also truly broke out of the giant shadow of multiple World Championships medallist Mary Kom.

Indian world champs
Mary Kom: 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2018
Sarita Devi: 2006
Jenny RL: 2006
Lekha KC: 2006
Nikhat Zareen: 2022

Injury, loss of confidence and Boxing Federation of India (BFI) officials’ preference for London Olympics bronze medallist Mary Kom had all but stalled Nikhat’s career and dreams.
However, Thursday’s result means that the girl who once ruled the Junior World Championships can now finally put doubts and negativity to rest.

Our boxers have made us proud! Congratulations to Nikhat for a fantastic gold medal win. —PM Narendra Modi

In the final, Nikhat was in full flow and scored a lot with her combination punches and her technical superiority came to the fore for the 5-0 win.

Nikhat becomes only the fifth Indian woman boxer to win gold at the World Championships. For the record, Mary Kom has won six gold medals in the tournament. Sarita Devi, Jenny RL and Lekha KC are the only other women pugilists from India who have won gold at the World Championships.

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