Gloves of fury

Gloves of fury
Highlights

It is said that self-belief helps you to see opportunities. If you have clear goals and you believe you can reach them, then your mind has the highest possible amount of receptivity to elements that can help you to reach your goals. Nikhat Zareen, a 21-year-old boxer from Hyderabad is successful today because she believes in herself.

It is said that self-belief helps you to see opportunities. If you have clear goals and you believe you can reach them, then your mind has the highest possible amount of receptivity to elements that can help you to reach your goals. Nikhat Zareen, a 21-year-old boxer from Hyderabad is successful today because she believes in herself.

Nikhat who completed her education from AV College, Hyderabad, started off her boxing career in 2009 when she was 13 years old, before which she was an athlete in short distance races. As an athlete she received her training from Collector Grounds, Nizamabad where she observed that girls took part in every sport except boxing.

When she asked her father why there were no girls in boxing, he had told her that very few girls had the guts to take up boxing. She wanted to prove everyone that women can also be boxers and that’s how she started boxing. As there were no girls in boxing, she had to undergo training with boys and it was tough as she was getting beaten up very often. She used to go home with a swollen eye and bleeding nose.

Looking at her condition, Nikhat’s mother wept and complained, “No body will marry you”. Confronting her mother, Nikhat said, “After I reach a respectable position there would be a long list of proposals coming.”
In 2010, Nikhat got her first break when she was selected for the Sub-Junior National Tournament in Tamil Nadu and grabbed a gold medal. She also received a the ‘Best Boxer’ award.

Later, she was selected for National Camp which was held in Vishakhapatnam. Her first international break came when she was 15- years-old where she won gold medal in AIBA Women’s Junior & Youth World Boxing Championship in 2011 which was held in Turkey. It was her first international experience. “I felt proud and happy to hear the National Anthem of India while I was standing on the podium in another country”. Till date remembering that moment gives her goosebumps.

In 2013, she won a silver medal in the Youth World Boxing Championship held in Bulgaria and won a gold medal at the third Nations Cup International Boxing Tournament held in Novi Sad, Serbia in 2014. When she entered the senior category in 2015, she got selected for the Senior World Championship where she was the youngest player representing India. Though she lost the tournament in the quarter finals against China, she claims to have gained a lot of experience from that championship.

Her journey has been a rollercoaster as she has seen both ups and downs in her eight-year career. In February 2017, she had suffered a shoulder dislocation during a quarter final bout at the All India Inter-University competitions in Jalandhar. The physiotherapists and doctors took a call that she has to undergo a surgery to continue boxing. Negativity and fear gripped the youngster’s game and she sought help from a psychologist, arranged by JSW Sports.

“I was mentally down and out. Many people said that I was finished and had no chance of representing India again. They had no clue how I was feeling around that time. I was trying my best to be mentally fit,” she said. From then on, she was in rehabilitation for six months and got back to training at the JSW training center Inspire Institute of Sport (IIT) in Bellary, Karnataka in October,2017.

Fighting back from the injury and surgery, Nikhat rose like a phoenix and made a big statement on her comeback trail. She romped to a gold medal with a resounding 5-0 win over Greece’s Koutsoeorgopoulou Aikaterini at Belgrade International Tournament, Serbia. “Before Serbia I was fit and motivated. Before the Common Wealth games, some of them went for trips to Bulgaria, Serbia and Kazakhstan. I was not given a second chance to prove my mettle. This time, I was determined,” explained Nikhat.

Nikhat is delighted with her show and feels the medal will answer all who doubted her ability. “I am happy with my performance as I won the gold after coming back from one-year gap. It is a great feeling,” she said. The support from her family, well-wishers and JSW (Inspiring Institute of Sports) were key to her comeback, she shared.

Having made a successful return, Nikhat will now focus on Asian Games and World Championship scheduled this year. “My focus now is on the Asian Games and World Championship in Delhi as they are prestigious tournaments. Winning a medal in Serbia will help me as there are no trials for selecting women boxers. Those who are doing well in practice and in international competitions will be selected,” she concluded.

Lastly, this youth champion advices young women to learn self-defence as it is very important in today’s scenario with many rape cases. She wants to start off a self defense academy to help girls to be strong and independent.

By: Preeti Putti

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