New Delhi, March 21 (IANS) Indian boxers Nikhat Zareen, Nitu Ghanghas, Manisha Moun and Jaismine continued with their dazzling show as they reached the quarterfinals with dominating victories in the Mahindra IBA Wome's World Boxing Championships here on Tuesday.
Their wins made it eight boxers for hosts India in the quarterfinals as Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain (75kg), Sakshi Choudhary (52kg), Nupur Sheoran (+81kg) and Saweety Boora (81kg) have already made it to the last-eight stage.
The defending champion Nikhat outpunched Mexican pugilist Fatima Herrera comfortably by unanimous decision in the 50kg pre-quarterfinals at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex here. The Indian made an aggressive start and launched the attack from the word go, exhibiting quick movement as she proved too strong for Herrera.
"I played her in the last World Championships too and had won. She was a little tougher today than last time. My weight category has changed from 52 to 50kg and my speed has increased but I still have to work on some things. I am happy that I played well today. Each player that I have played till now was tough," said Nikhat, who will be up against the Thai boxer Chuthamat Rakshat in the quarter-finals.
Jaismine also put up an equally strong performance during her 5-0 win against Tajikistan's Mijgona Samadova in the 60kg pre-quarterfinal bout.
Her win came after Nitu (48kg) and Manisha provided hosts India a perfect start as they recorded commanding Referee Stops Contest (RSC) wins in their respective matches.
While the 2022 Commonwealth Games champion Nitu made a cautious start but took less than six minutes to force the referees to end the contest against Tajikistan's Sumaiya Qosimova, Manisha and Turkey's Nur Turhan exchanged heavy punches during an intense 57kg match.
However, Manisha, who won bronze in the last edition, quickly shifted gears to take the charge before completing a convincing victory in the end. She will next take on French pugilist Amina Zidani in the quarter-finals whereas Nitu will face Japan's Madoka Wada of Japan.
Meanwhile, it was heartbreak for Shashi Chopra (63kg) and Manju Bamboriya (66kg) who suffered defeats against Japan's Mai Kito (0-4) and Uzbekistan's current Asian champion Navbakhor Khamidova (0-5) respectively.
The quarterfinals will be played on Wednesday in the prestigious event, which is witnessing the participation of 324 boxers, including several Olympic medallists, from 65 countries fighting for the titles in the 12 weight categories.
In a major upset of the day, Venezuela's Omailyn Alcala stunned the former world champion and Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Nesthy Petecio of the Philippines with a thrilling 4-3 victory in the hard-fought 57kg contest.
Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Irma Testa (57kg), on the other hand, had an easy outing as she continued her winning momentum with a comfortable 5-0 victory against Vietnam's Hao Nguyen Thi in the 57kg Last-16 match.
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