Nikhat Zareen and Estelle Mossely win in style, as controversial championships begin
The Women’s World Boxing Championships 2023 started this week in New Delhi. Indian trailblazer Nikhat Zareen and IBO world champion Estelle Mossely from France are the standout fighters of the amateur tournament and began their respective campaigns with emphatic wins.
The event is being organized by the International Boxing Association, which has been at odds with the International Olympic Committee over the IBA’s governance and decision to permit Russian and Belarussian athletes to compete under their flags.
Issues with the IBA, largely stemming from the second controversy, have led to a boycott from some nations, including the US, UK, and Ireland. However, relations between the IBA and IOC are starting to improve, as the IBA welcomed the presence of an IOC monitoring team at the event to oversee how it is run.
Nikhat Zareen and Estelle Mossely Both Gets Wins
To the boxing itself, Zareen stormed to victory against Azerbaijan’s Anakhanim Ismayilova in a preliminary, light-flyweight bout. Zareen inflicted two standing counts in the opening round. The first came after Ismayilova’s head was knocked back by a backhand right and while Ismayilova had a legitimate right to protest it, the second count came at a fortuitous time, just before the bell with the pressure beginning to mount.
Zareen finished the job in trademark fashion in the second. Her signature speed generates maximum damage through the unexpectedness with which she switches up her attacks from both hands, setting up a right cross that landed flush. The referee counted once more, but this time decided Ismayilova could not continue.
Mossely has switched back to the amateurs and is looking to add to her 2016 Rio Gold medal with a second Olympic win in her hometown of Paris. She overcame Pornti Buapa of Thailand and progresses to the round of 16 in the lightweight category.
Mossely was brimming with energy and while Buapa proved hard to hit, Mossely landed the better quality shots and also repeatedly physically overwhelmed Buapa through two rounds. By the third round, Mossely slickened up her rhythm, as she frequently found a home with her overhand left hook.
All judges scored it unanimously for the Parisian, who could meet another professional boxer, Beatriz Ferreira in the finals. Ferreira won the Olympic silver medal in the lightweight division at Toyko 2020.
By Harry Duffy