Boxing Championships: Nikhat, Nitu, Lovlina & Saweety Enter Finals

New Delhi: Nikhat Zareen, Nitu Ganghas, Lovlina Borgohain and Saweety Boora made it a perfect day for Indian boxers at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in New Delhi as all four won their respective matches to make to the finals. Nikhat beat Rio Olympics bronze medallist Ingrit Valencia of Colombia in the 50kg semifinal, with a measured performance that put here within one win of becoming a back-to-back world champion. The judges awarded the bout to Nikhat by a unanimous 5-0 scoreline. Nikhat will now face Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Tam in the final.

In a rematch of last year’s World Championships quarterfinal in the 48kg category, Nitu beat reigning Asian champion Alua Balkibekova of Kazakhstan, 5-2. The Indian was on the back-foot in the opening round, but kept her composure and did enough in the remaining two rounds of the bout to become the first Indian to reach the final at these championships. Nitu will face Mongolia’s Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg in the final, for her first-ever world championships gold medal.

Later in the day, in what was a clash between two highly decorated boxers, the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina (75kg) reached her maiden World Championships final after ousting the 2018 World Champion Li Qian of China with a 4-1 victory on points after the bout was reviewed. The bout kept going back and forth with Lovlina grinding hard to prevail by 3-2 in the first round before her opponent made a comeback to win in the second by 2-3. In the third round, it was Lovlina who shifted gears impressively and sealed the win with a good attacking display in the final round. Lovlina will face the two-time Commonwealth Games medallist Caitlin Parker of Australia in the final on Sunday.

Wrapping up India’s dominance in the semifinals, three-time Asian medallist Saweety (81kg) defeated Emma-Sue Greentree of Australia 4-3 on points after the bout was reviewed. Saweety used all her experience to triumph over her opponent in the fiercely contested fight. She will now go up against the 2018 World Champion Wang Lina of China in the final on Saturday.

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