2023 Women's World Boxing Championships: Nitu, Preeti, Manju enter pre-quarters

Nitu Ghanghas BFI

Indian boxers continued to shine at home as three of them entered the pre-quarters with contrasting wins at the Women's World Boxing Championships in New Delhi on Saturday.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nitu Ganghas (48kg) began her campaign with a RSC win over Doyeon Kang of Korea, while Preeti (54kg) eked out a 4-3 split decision victory against Romania's Lacramioara Perijoc. Manju Bamboriya (66kg), on the other hand, defeated Cara Wharerau of New Zealand with a 5-0 unanimous verdict.

Nitu, who lost in the quarter-final during the last edition, opened her campaign in the best possible way, winning the bout in the first round itself within 111 seconds.

In the opening minute, she used her hook and left cross but wasn't able to connect her jabs. The boxers then went into a frenzy as they punched each other with both hands. Soon, Kang got the first standing count. With Nitu continuing her onslaught, the Korean got her second standing count 20 seconds later with referee Luca Vadilonga of Italy ruling in the Indian's favour much to the joy of the partisan crowd at the KD Jadhav Indoor Hall.

Having won her opening bout by an RSC verdict, Preeti had to work hard for her second win in the tournament.

Both boxers looked to keep their distance in the first few seconds, before Preeti was caught unawares by a Perijoc straight jab. albeit recovering soon after. The 2022 Asian Championships bronze medallist then landed two punches on her Romanian opponent and led 3-2 at the end of the first round.

In the second round, both boxers tried to sidestep each other as Perijoc resorted to body blows. Preeti danced around the ring, using her nimble feet, as she tried to avoid the Romanian. She landed some accurate punches but lost the round 2-3. The final round was a draw with the bout going into a review. The evaluator and observer ruled in favour of the Indian.