Lausanne (Switzerland): Local boxing fans in India are expected to turn out in force to support top the boxers at the International Boxing Association (IBA) Women’s World Boxing Championships 2023 in New Delhi.
India will have competitors in all 12 weight categories at the highly anticipated event, which will take place from 15-26 March 2023.
The competition offer participants a lucrative prize fund of US$2.4m.
Among the big-name boxers carrying the hopes of the host country will be Nikhat Zareen, who won the 52kg gold at last year’s IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul.
She changed her weight category and won gold in the 50kg division at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The challenge for the defending World Champion will get more complicated as she would need to prove her status of the best in the world in a new weight class, and in front of the home crowd.
Lovlina Borgohain, who won a 69kg bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, will also be in action in another weight category.
Following her two bronze medals at the World Boxing Championships in 2018 and 2019 in 69kg, she was eliminated at the stage of last 16 at Istanbul 2022 competition in 70 kg. This year, she’ll challenge her rivals in a new division of 75kg.
Birmingham 2022 48kg gold medal-winner Nitu Ghanghas will also be cheered on by the home crowd in New Delhi. A promising 22-years-old boxer showed top performance at youth level where she earned two world titles, and this is her chance to shine among elite following her Commonwealth Games success.
The trio will be part of a strong contingent of Indian athletes in New Delhi who will be looking to cement the host country’s growing reputation as a hotbed of women’s boxing. However, they will be up against numerous top competitors from across the globe at the 6,000-seat K.D. Jadhav Indoor Hall, including several medal-winners from the 2022 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.
The likes of Algeria’s Imane Khelif, Argentina’s Aldana Florencia Lopez, Brazil’s Beatriz Ferreira and Caroline De Almeida, Colombia’s Ingrit Lorena Valencia Victoria, Italy’s Irma Testa, Kazakhstan’s Karina Ibragimova, Mozambique’s Alcinda Helena Panguana and Morocco’s Khadija Mardi will be looking for another podium finish after their exploits last year in Istanbul.
“The reputation of women’s boxing in India is going from strength to strength, and there is no doubt that the home crowd can play their part in cheering on their athletes to success in New Delhi,” the IBA’s Head of Sport, Marko Petric, said. “We are looking forward to witnessing an outstanding line-up of boxers in action, from India as well as from around the world, and we are expecting local fans to get behind their athletes as they fight for glory against the toughest of opponents.”