Boxer Nikhat Zareen’s Journey with Sparrow to Mary’s World Champion

MC Mary Kom asked in 2019, “who is Nikhat Zareen?” Today she is the world champion.

No one but the legendary MC Mary Kom asked in 2019, ‘who is Nikhat Zareen’? The Telangana boxer is a world champion until 2022.

Three years ago, Nikhat Zareen pleaded for a “fair trial” against Mary Kom ahead of the Tokyo Olympics after being denied a chance to take part in the trials for this very tournament and today she stands as a champion.

As the flyweight world champion’s name was called out on Thursday, Ms Zareen jumped for joy and stomped into the air in ecstasy.

She finally did. When the extent of the moment struck her, tears began to roll down her cheeks. She finally proved herself, shutting down all her opponents.

Her string of victories as a teenager has led people to regard her as a possible heir to the throne of the legendary MC Mary Kom and her recent victories have consolidated the view.

But it was not a pleasant journey for the 25-year-old, as she had to fight up and off the field with an injury and her idol Mary Come on in her formative years.

But she waited patiently in the wings to make the flyweight division, which has so far been dominated by the six-time champion, her own.

After the climax of the junior world championship title a decade ago, Ms Zareen was dealt a major blow when she broke her shoulder during a fight that forced her out of the ring for almost a year.

Yet the nimble boxer was determined to establish herself at the elite level and she made a resounding return. Nikhat Zareen grabbed a bronze at the senior national championships and won the Belgrade International Championship in 2018.

The next year would turn out to be a rollercoaster for Nizamabad-based pugilist. She made her mark by winning the gold at the prestigious Strandja Memorial, Europe’s oldest international boxing event, and a silver at the Thailand Open, but could not prevail over Mary Kom, probably the greatest female boxer in history, in the India Open. .

And before the World Cup, she was denied a trial by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI), which decided to follow Mary Kom’s consistent performances while making the selection and the Manipuri claimed her eighth world medal.

When the federation decided to send Mary Kom for the Olympic qualifiers following her bronze-winning performance at the World Championships, Zareen demanded a “fair chance” from then-Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju. But an angry Mary Come asked ‘Who is Nikhat Zareen’? “I’re been inspired by Mary Kom since I was a teenager. The best way I could get this inspiration right was to strive to be such a great boxer like her. And Mary Kom is a too big a legend in sport to hide from the competition and not actually defend her Olympic qualification, ”she said.

Ms Zareen’s request was granted and a trial was announced to the great displeasure of Mary Kom, who claimed she was always ready for a trial and doing what the BFI said, but the young man dragged her name everywhere.

However, the long-awaited fight turned out to be a one-sided affair when Nikhat Zareen lost 1-9 to Mary Kom. And to top it off, there was no usual handshake at the end and the senior pro also turned down an attempt at hug from her younger competitor, which left her in tears.

But the distasteful episode could not stop Ms Zareen from winning praise. With a busy 2022, Ms Zareen was right on point when she became the first Indian boxer to win two gold medals at the Strandja Memorial following a number of impressive performances, including the silver medalist at the Tokyo Olympics in February .

She continued her amazing run and gave India its first gold in four years at the World Championships. She dominated all her matches.

With Mary Come in her twilight years, Ms Zareen’s victory is pretty assured for Indian Boxing.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by techlives staff and is being published from a syndicated stream.)

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