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8 lesser known facts about Nikhat Zareen, India’s newest world champion boxer

By Tenzin Norzom
May 20, 2022, Updated on : Fri May 20 2022 07:45:03 GMT+0000
8 lesser known facts about Nikhat Zareen, India’s newest world champion boxer
Nikhat Zareen became India’s fifth woman world champion boxer, after Olympic boxer Mary Kom last fetched the world championship gold for India in 2018.
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Twenty-five-year-old Nikhat Zareen has won gold in the women’s 52kg division at the Women's Boxing World Championships in Antalya, Turkey, making her India’s fifth woman world champion boxer.


The feat was last achieved by renowned boxer, Mary Kom, in 2018.

As congratulatory wishes pour in from PM Narendra Modi and other leaders and celebrities across the country, here are eight lesser-known facts about Nikhat Zareen.


1) Nikhat took up boxing to fight gender bias.


Nikhat was initially getting trained in athletics as a child. However, a visit to the Urban Games with her father changed her trajectory at the age of 13.


When she asked why there were no women in the boxing ring, she was told that women are generally considered to be weak and not encouraged to box due to the threat of physical injuries. 


That became her calling and she decided to switch from athletics to boxing.

“The societal notion that women were weak and that they would face problems getting married if they took up boxing made me resolve to take up the sport,” Nikhat told HerStory.

2) It was her mischiefs that got her into sports


Seeing gender stereotypes in the ring drew Nikhat into boxing, but the reason she was exposed to the world of sports was simply because she was a mischievous child. 


The eldest of three daughters in the family, Nikhat was quite the troublemaker that neighbors would complain about for getting into fights and climbing up their trees. 


To put an end to the mischief, Nikhat’s father Jameel Ahmed decided to drain her energy by making her run only to discover more stamina in her, according to Sportstar. This is how Nikhat was introduced to athletics before she decided to take up boxing.

3) Nikhat Zareen is the first girl from Nizamabad district in Telangana to become a boxer, thanks to her father’s unwavering support. She used to train with boys and often get beaten up initially. 


4) Nikhat had to fight her way through gender bias

Nikhat Zarain

The decision to pursue boxing invariably drew ire and concerns from relatives and her father’s friends who thought Nikhat would be better off with the safety of a job under the sports quota.  

“I was told a Muslim woman should be in purdah and asked how I could wear short clothes. Thankfully, my father did not let these comments affect him or me. He asked me to focus on boxing and work hard. When I won medals, the same people would come back asking for photos and selfies,” she told HerStory.

5) She has earned notable laurels in boxing.


In 2010, Nikhat won the gold at the Junior Nationals and was selected for the World Championships in 2011. She won the gold in the flyweight division at the AIBA Women’s Junior and Youth World Boxing Championship in Turkey.


6) In 2017, Nikhat could not train for a year after dislocating her shoulder. However, the time taken off for recovery taught her mental strength. 


7) One other dream of Nikhat was to have her name trend on twitter, which she easily achieved soon after emerging as a world champion boxer.

“Am I really trending on Twitter? It was one of my dreams to trend on Twitter and if I am trending there, I am really happy,” she said, gasping with joy during an interview post her victory. 

8) Having clinched gold at the world championships, the boxer is now gearing up for Paris 2024.


Edited by Megha Reddy

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