The reigning two-time world champion from India, Nikhat Zareen has won her opening bout by 5-0 in the women’s boxing 45-50kg category in the Asian Games 2023, to advance through to the round of 16. On September 24, Sunday, the 27-year-old brushed aside the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships 2023 runners-up Nguyen Thi Tham from Thailand in the round of 32, in a convincing manner.
During her three-round opening bout at the HZ Gymnasium, Hangzhou, Nikhat Zareen put up an exceptional display of her boxing skills, mixing impactful attack bursts with astute defence to put her opponent under exceeding pressure. Nguyen Thi Tham looked clueless for a boxer who has won a silver medal in World Championships, succumbing to her Indian opponent.
The final scorecard from all the five judges seemed like a formality, with Nikhat Zareen winning the bout by a unanimous decision. The judges' scorecard in favour of the Indian boxer read (30-25, 30-25, 30-24, 30-24, and 30-24).
Notably, when the women’s boxing 45-50kg draw for the Asian Games 2023 came out, the officials received a lot of criticism from the fans for pitting the finalists of the World Championships Nikhat Zareen and Nguyen Thi Tham in the round of 32. This decision came as a surprise to many, especially when many of the other boxers received a bye in the round of 32.