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Nikhat Zareen Can Take Over the Baton From Mary Kom: Vijender Singh

Nikhat Zareen won the gold medal at the World Championship in Istanbul on Thursday.

Updated
Boxing
3 min read

The name Nikhat Zareen has been on everyone’s lips since few days, and not without a reason as she clinched a gold medal in the Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul on Thursday. Nikhat became the fifth Indian boxer to win the world title in the women’s tournament, and understandably the messages of congratulations have been flowing in from all directions.

Living up to the expectations, Nikhat thrashed Thailand's Jitpong Jutamas without breaking a sweat in the 52 kg final with judges scoring the bout 30-27, 29-28, 29-28, 30-27, 29-28 in the Indian pugilist's favour.

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While Nikhat joins the elite list led by the legendary Mary Kom among the women boxers, it was Vijender Singh who had kicked off the tally with a bronze for the men in 2009 in Milan, a year after an Olympic bronze in Beijing.

“It is really big for every Indian, therefore for every single athlete. She is a world champion now. It’s a proud moment for every single Indian and every single player… And Nikhat is very young and she’s a world champion now, so I think she is more proud of herself,” Vijender told The Quint.

Nikhat, 25, has been unbeaten so far and is seemingly in the form of her life as she begins to climb the ladder in the sport. For Nikhat, though, competition was stiff not only in the ring against boxers from other countries, but also in India, as she is in the same category as Mary Kom.

When asked if he thought this was the time when Nikhat was taking over the baton from Mary, Vijender was quick to respond in the affirmative.

“Of course. And yes, she is capable and she can do it. But she has to be focused like Mary Kom. She (Mary Kom) is a six-time world champion. Nikhat has won one so far, but she can do it too,” Vijender said.

‘Enjoy the Moment’

A veteran of more than a few podium finishes in boxing, Vijender said that India is doing well in terms of boxing at the highest levels and hopes that Nikhat goes on to make a big career for herself. However, the veteran, who turned to professional boxing in 2015, had a word of warning for the young champion.

“Just enjoy each and every moment, the time will never come back. Enjoy your success and just work hard. Be humble and rooted,” Vijender said.

While the accolades are coming in for Nikhat, she did not have the easiest journey to the top and had quite a tough time as there had been an unwanted episode with Mary Kom in 2019 during the trials for the World Championship. After that she was trolled and mocked online but Nikhat fought back in style.

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“She proved herself and she’s the best, she is the world champion now, that’s it,” Vijender signed off.

On Thursday, Nikhat was again trending on Twitter, and the boxer was elated as that was her dream, to trend once again.

"I'm trending on Twitter? It was one of my dreams to trend on Twitter! If I'm really trending right now, then I'm really happy," said Nikhat in her online press conference after her victory.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Published: 
Edited By :Tejas Harad
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