Nitu, Saweety assure India of medals at Women’s Boxing World Championships
NEW DELHI, March 22: Nitu Ghanghas (48kg) and Saweety Boora (81kg) produced superlative performances to assure India of two medals at the Women’s Boxing World Championships after reaching the semifinals on Wednesday.
Commonwealth Games champion Nitu, who was the first Indian to take the ring, recorded a second-round RSC (referee stops contest) win over Madoka Wada of Japan in the quarterfinals.
Top seed Saweety confirmed her second world championship medal after getting better of 2018 bronze-medal winner Viktoriya Kebikava of Belarus 5-0 to. She had won the silver in 2014.
Sakshi Choudhary (52kg) and last edition’s bronze medallist Manisha Moun (57kg), however, failed to reach the last-four stage.
While Sakshi lost to Yu Wu of China 0-5, Manisha was outplayed by a 1-4 margin by Amina Zidani of France.
Nitu looked a bit tentative at first but as the seconds ticked, she gained confidence to go ahead and attack.
Halfway through the first round, Nitu, the 2022 Strandja Memorial gold medallist, moved forward and threw a combination of clean, accurate punches to force the referee to give Wada her first standing count.
Another set of combination punches by Nitu in the second round compelled the referee to stop the contest and rule in the home boxer’s favour.
Nitu has won all her three bouts in the tournament so far by RSC verdicts.
“I had to be careful and couldn’t be aggressive because she (Wada) was also a southpaw like me, but then towards the end (of the contest) I thought I could attack,” Nitu said after the bout.
“The advantage of winning all my three bouts by RSC is that in the coming bouts, my opponents will be under pressure,” she said.
Multiple-time national champion Saweety, who received a first-round bye, was just one win away from a medal and the 30-year-old managed to make it a comfortable one.
The bout between the two light heavyweight boxers was messy and filled with body blows. But Saweety defended and attacked well, landing hooks and jabs with ease.
Reigning world champion Nikhat Zareen (50kg), Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jaismine Lamboria (60kg), Olympic medallist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg), and Nupur Sheoran (+81kg), will look to make the last-four stage later in the day.
(ToI With PTI Inputs)