Highlights

  • Zareen took a year break due to an injury in 2017
  • Zareen won the World Youth Boxing Champion in 2011
  • Zareen won bronze medal at the 2019 Asian Championship

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‘Who is Nikhat Zareen’, meet the 2022 Women’s World Boxing Champion

Before stepping into the world of boxing, the Nizamabad-born girl specialised in 100m and 200m sprints.

‘Who is Nikhat Zareen, I don’t know her’

In 2019, legendry Mary Kom had created quite a stir with this question when she had to undergo the Olympic trial after the then 21-year-old boxer had fought her way for ‘fair trials’. Though the young pugilist was taken down very easily by the 6-time World Champion, today Nikhat Zareen, the World Champion has successfully broken the glass ceiling!

Fighting in the same category as Mary Kom, the Telangana boxer did not have it easy. It is only after Mary Kom’s career took a backseat that Zareen shone brightly as India’s new-found hope.

Sports has been Zareen’s calling always. Before stepping into the world of boxing, the Nizamabad-born girl was specialising in 100m and 200m sprints. However, a stopover at a boxing arena of a sports complex changed everything for her. Challenging the notion of ‘Boxing mardo ka khel hai’, Zareen broke into the scene at the age of 13. 6 months into the business, Zareen was already winning medals.

She first won the State Championship gold in 2010 and in the following year, at the age of 14 in 2011, she became the World Youth Boxing Champion. But it wasn’t easy when she started off her journey as a senior boxer after winning her maiden senior national title in 2016. Being in the same weight category (52kg) as Mary Kom and an injury in 2017 did not help her cause at all. Many had written her off when she had to take a year’s break due to the shoulder injury. But, determined to prove her critics wrong, Zareen won the bronze at the 2019 Asia Championship and became only the 5th woman to win the World Championship on May 19, 2022.

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