CWG 2022: Nitu Ghanghas wins gold in women's 48kg boxing

Nitu Ghanghas poses with her gold medal in women's 48kg boxing at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games Eddie Keogh/Getty Images

Nitu Ghanghas defeated Demie-Jade Resztan of England in the final of the women's 48kg division, winning her maiden gold medal at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games by a unanimous 5-0 scoreline. This is India's first boxing gold at CWG 2022.

Two-time youth World Champion Nitu began the bout aggressively, getting an early jab to her opponent's face with her left. Resztan attempted to close the range but Nitu got in a couple of uppercuts in the clinch. The Indian slipped for a bit but recovered to land a fair few punches towards the end, winning the first round 4-1.

Nitu's dominant left hook came to the fore in the second round, as Resztan struggled to defend her quick combination punches as well. The boxing bout turned into a bit of wrestling match as Nitu and the English boxer tumbled to the floor in a clinch. The 21-yr-old Indian did go on to win the second round 5-0 as well, leading 4-1 overall.

Despite Resztan getting Nitu on the ropes in the third round, the Indian launched a couple of counter-punches that were too quick for the English boxer. Nitu's range and speed was too much for Resztan, as she pummeled her opponent with multiple combinations, basically all but assuring herself of the gold.

Earlier, Nitu kick-started her CWG campaign with a dominant win over Northern Ireland's Nicole Clyde in the women's 48kg category quarterfinal. The 21-year-old from Dhanana in Bhiwani district dominated the first two rounds against Clyde before the bout was abandoned with the opponent throwing in the towel. She went on to repeat the feat in her semifinal against Priyanka Dhillon of Canada, with the referee stopping the contest in the third round of a bout that Nitu dominated throughout.

Making her CWG debut, Nitu had big shoes to fill in the weight category of MC Mary Kom, who injured herself during the selection trials held before the event. "This is the only the beginning, I have a long way to," said a supremely confident Nitu after her quarterfinal win. "I just listen to my coaches and try to execute that in the ring," she said when asked about her long term goals.

The Strandja Memorial gold medallist had started boxing in 2012, had suffered a serious shoulder injury in 2019 that ruled her out of action for a long time.

After taking up the sport, Nitu's father had to leave his job in Chandigarh to support his daughter's dream. She hopes the medal in CWG leads to a financially secure future. "We live in a joint family. My father stays with me all the time so he can't work. His elder brothers take care of all the expenses as we live in a joint family. Hopefully, this medal will make a huge difference," added Nitu.