File photo of Nikhat Zareen© AFP
Reigning world champion boxer Nikhat Zareen on Saturday said her job was just to land punches on her opponents inside the ring and make the country proud. Nikhat, who stormed into the final of women’s 50kg category after outclassing England’s Stubley Alfia Savannah 5-0, said she can’t wait to lay her hands on a second international gold in three months. “Mera kaam hai bas ring mein jaake mukke fekna aur desh ka naam roshan karna (My job is to land punches in the ring and make the country proud). I’ve to cool down and start again,” Nikhat told PTI.
But it was not easy for Nikhat as she had to overcome not only her young 21-year-old opponent but also a vociferous home crowd, and she described the bout as her “biggest hurdle in the field”.
Nikhat will take on Northern Ireland’s Carly McNaul for a gold medal. “I would say this was my biggest hurdle here. Being a home favourite, she (Stubley) was expected to come out strong. She’s a very good upcoming boxer and it’s good to come out on top,” she said.
“Yes, there was pressure, I knew she will have the biggest support in the crowd. So uske ghar mein aake jitna badi baat thi mere liye (to beat her in front of home crowd is a big thing for me).” Nikhat pretty well knew Stubley’s game as she sparred with her a few times at training which came handy. She also has sparred against her final opponent Carly in the camp ahead of CWG.
“I knew her style but at the same time she too had a fair idea about me. I just had to give it all. I’m just looking forward to my final bout against Northern Ireland’s Carly McNaul,” the 26-year-old said.
Asked where she would rate her CWG achievement, Nikhat said: “To be a world champion is the biggest medal for me. Par sab ki jagah alag hai (every medal has its own significance). It’s like I can’t keep my parents separate and both are equal, dad or mom.”
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