CWG 2022: Nikhat wins, Shiva loses on mixed day for Indian boxers at Birmingham

Birmingham, July 31 (IANS)
India had mixed results in the morning session at the Commonwealth Games boxing venue here as reigning World Champion Nikhat Zareen made a confident and comfortable start while seasoned Shiva Thapa crashed out in the pre-quarterfinals stage of the competition.
Nikhat got the outplayed Helena Ismael Bagao of Mozambique in a women’s light flyweight (over 48-50kg) division, getting a Referee Stopped Contest (RSC) verdict, two minutes and two seconds into the third round of their bout.
Nikhat was so dominant that she knocked down her opponent once in the third round before the referee decided enough was enough and ended the misery for the Mozambique boxer by calling off the contest.
Nikhat, who won the World Championship title a couple of months back, was in superb form as she started her campaign on a dominant note, totally outclassing her opponent.
Unleashing a flurry of punches, the 25-year-old from Telangana took charge of the contest early and used her superior technique to outclass her opponent.
Nikhat was very happy on winning her maiden bout in the Commonwealth Games.
“This is my first Commonwealth Games and I was really excited for this. Finally, after a long time, I am getting this opportunity to play in his competition,” said Nikhat after her match.
“I am really happy. I am looking forward to winning more matches for my country. I am here to win a gold medal for India, and my preparations have been good for that.
“WE trained in the national camp in Delhi under Bhjaskar Bhatt.So, its been good preparations and training,” she added.
She will get to put that good preparation, hard work and training to full use when she faces tougher opponents in the subsequent rounds.
But things were not that good for Shiva Thapa as his campaign ended in the second round on Sunday, losing to Scotland’s Reese Lynch, bronze medallist in the recent World Championship, in the Men’s light welterweight division. The former world championship and Asian Championship medallist went down 4-1 in s split decision, ending up without a medal after his second Commonwealth Games after failing to do so in 2014 too.
Thapa, who had defeated Suleman Baloch of Pakistan in the first round on Friday, started well and won the first round as per all five judges. He unleashed some good combinations and got 10 points from all five judges.
With a big batch of Indian supporters extending his vociferous support, Thapa went into the second round with a lot of confidence, but that was denoted as four of the five judges ranted it in favour of his Scot rival. Lynch kept his guard up and did not give Thapa many chances in the third and final round as the judges rated in the Scottish boxer’s favour once again.
“He is a very good fighter and I had to be at my best to beat him. I kept my hands a lot higher in the second and third rounds as I knew he had had a good first round.”
On the issue of the crowd cheering for his Indian opponent:, Lynch said “I heard the Indians in the crowd so I knew where I stood after the first round. Maybe it was nerves in the first round. I was a bit jumpy. In the second and third rounds, I started working better. That’s a good win against a good boxer.”
India has put up a big squad of 12 boxers, including four women, in the Commonwealth Games.

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