New Delhi, Mar 25, 2023: Nitu Ghanghas defeated Lutsaikhan Altansetseg of Mongolia via a unanimous decision in the 48kg final at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championship at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex in New Delhi on Saturday. Nitu became only the sixth Indian boxer, male or female, to become a world champion.
Later in the day, three-time Asian medallist Saweety Boora defeated Wang Lina of China in the 81kg final via a split verdict.
Two-time World Youth champion Nitu dominated Altantsetseg 5-0 in the first round but was handed a 3-2 warning in the second. She clinched the third round well to beat the two-time Asian Championships bronze medallist Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg in the finals on Saturday.
The 22-year-old Indian, who is a 2022 Commonwealth Games champion, competed in her second World Championships and has had a stellar campaign so far, recording three victories by Referee Stops Contest (RSC) verdicts.
“I am very happy after winning the gold medal. I fell short in my quest for the gold last year so we worked on the mistakes and won it this time round in front of the home support. Having discussed with my coaches yesterday I had decided to be aggressive since the first round today to get the scores in my favour. I have been working hard for many years and this medal means a lot to me,” said Nitu after her bout.
Contesting her second World Championships final, Saweety (81kg) defeated the 2018 World champion Wang Lina of China in the final on Saturday. The experienced pugilist from Haryana had to settle for the silver in the final of the competition in 2014 which was also against a Chinese opponent and on her second time of asking, went one step further to win the title.
“I am thrilled after fulfilling my dream of becoming the World Champion. The bout went well and I was able execute our planning perfectly. My performances in the tournament got better as the bouts progressed with my body also responding well. I want to thank the fans for their constant love and support,” said Saweety after the bout.
Two other Indians are in the title bout.
Reigning World champion Nikhat Zareen and the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Lovlina Borgohain will be in action on Sunday.
Determined to defend her title and win back-to-back World Championships gold medals, Nikhat (50kg) will be squaring off against the two-time Asian champion and 2018 Asian Games bronze medallist Nguyen Thi Tam of Vietnam in the final on Sunday. Despite shifting to the light flyweight category, the distinguished pugilist from Telangana has comfortably dominated all of her opponents so far including the African champion Roumaysa Boualam of Algeria, the two-time Worlds bronze medallist Chuthamat Raksat of Thailand and the Rio Olympics bronze medallist Ingrit Valencia of Colombia.
“This is the first competition in my boxing career where I am fighting a total of six bouts, especially back to back and all against experienced and tough opponents. However, I am really happy by the calibre of the performance I am showing here. I have placed my way into the finals even in the 50kg weight category and there is just one more match to go to win and defend my title. As I am moving forward my game is improving so I hope to give my best in the finals,” said Nikhat.
Having secured two World Championships bronze medals in 2018 and 2019, Lovlina (75kg) will be giving it her all to ensure that her third medal in the competition is gold when she takes on the two-time Commonwealth Games medallist Caitlin Parker of Australia in the final on Sunday. Similar to Nikhat, the Telangana born pugilist has also changed her weight category and has been at the top of her game throughout the tournament, defeating the highly decorated Li Qian of China in the semi-finals on Thursday.
“When I started playing in the 75kg category, I played nationals games, national championship and Asian Championship. Now coming to the present, all the games I have till yet played in this category have gone smoothly and I feel that I am more comfortable in this category as I don’t need to control myself a lot and do well in my natural weight. The next final will be tough but I will follow what the coaches tell me to and apply some of my planning in the ring with regards to the situation. I will keep fighting for my country and try and win gold for India to the best of my abilities and give my 100%,” said Lovlina.