Who is Nikhat Zareen? Once threw a challenge at Mary Kom, now a World Champion – know all about her | Other Sports News

India’s Nikhat Zareen clinched India’s 10th gold medal at the World Boxing Championships in Turkey on Thursday (May 19). She did that a dominant 5-0 win over Thailand`s Jitpong Jutamas in the 52 kg final. 

The 25-year-old boxer became the only fifth Indian woman to secure a gold medal at the World Boxing Championships after record six-time champion Mary Kom (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2018), Sarita Devi (2006), Jenny RL (2006) and Lekha KC (2006).

Who is Nikhat Zareen?

Nikhat hails from Nizamabad in Telangana in India. She has been making headlines sicne her junior days. 

She came to the limelight in 2011 when she became World Junion boxing champion in 50 kg. That event was also held in Turkey. 

Nikhat worked hard on her game with American coach Ronn Simms at the Inspire Institute of Sports in Vijaynagar. 

Her achievements at a glance

Silver in Thailand Open in 2019. Bronze in Asian Championships, 2019. Gold in Strandja Memorial in 2019. Bronze in India Open, 2019. Bronze in Brosphorus, 2021. Gold in Stradja Memorial, 2022. 

Took on Mary Kom, off the ring

Nikhat kept on having off the ring tussles with Indian boing legend MC Mary Kom. Nikhat was the boxer who had objected to Mary’s automatic selection for the World Championships in 2019. She argued that no boxer,whether rookie or legend, should be selected without any trial.

She had then tweeted: “All I want is a fair chance. If I am not given the opportunity to complete what am I training for.”

Her request for a trial was rejected as Mary had already qualified for Championships at India Open. However, she got a trial bout with Mary for a spot in the Olympic qualifiers. This was only the second time Nikhat was going one-on-one vs her childhood hero Mary. 

The Manipur boxer had it easy, winning 9-1 and taking the spot for Tokyo Olympics. 

But three years later, Nikhat has worked hard to come out on top and become a World Champion, taking the baton from Mary herself. 

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