Nikhat Zareen joined fellow Indian pugilists Nitu Ghanghas and Amit Panghal to win India’s third gold medal in boxing at the Commonwealth Games 2022 on Sunday. Nikhat, the reigning world champion, took little time to wind up the final and secured a unanimous verdict against Northern Ireland’s Carly MC Naul. The win brought India its 17th gold and 48th overall medal of the Games.
Both boxers took time to settle in during the first round but even then, Nikhat was just ahead to win it 5-0. A solid left hook coupled by another set of powerful punches connected really well. MC Naul couldn’t do much and that was credit to Nikhat and her string of aggressive attacks. MC Naul began aggressively in the second round with both exchanging a lot more punches, but with 50 seconds to go, it was evident that Nikhat was on top, tiring out her opponent. Nikhat allowed MC Naul to go after her but she counter attacked with ease.
In the third round, MC Naul appeared desperate, and decided to have another go at Nikhat. But that did not have much of an affect. Aware of the fact that she was ahead after the first two rounds, Nikhat took her time and as the final bell rang, she raised her hands in victory. The result was out and a gold it was. She had won the bout by a unanimous decision and celebrated it by going down on her knees and celebrating the result.
Nikhat’s CWG 2022 campaign began against Mozambique’s Helena Ismael Bagao in the round of 16 bout. Nikhat won the first round by unanimous 5-0 decision by getting perfect 10 from each of the five judges. She followed it up with yet another 5-0 win over her opponent in the second round. In the third, Nikhat’s dominance was such that the referee had to stop the contest.
In the quarterfinal, Nikhat’s challenger was Helen Jones of Wales. As expected, Nikhat was at her best and won the first round by unanimous 5-0 win over her opponent. In second round too, Nikhat scored a perfect ten and won 5-0 again. Helen landed some good punches in the third round but Nikhat would retaliate strongly and stormed into the semi-finals in style.