Champion Nikhat Zareen enters quarters

New Delhi: The Defending champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) on Wednesday sailed into the quarterfinals of the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament after her rival Sevda Asenova abandoned their second-round bout in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The Indian was declared the winner after Asenova forfeited during the opening round of the bout. Local favourite Asenova was a former gold-medallist at the event, which is into its 71st edition this year. In the men’s competition, Duryodhan Singh Negi (69kg) and Mohammed Hussamuddin (57kg) advanced after winning their respective opening bouts. Singh defeated Poland’s Mateusz Polski, while Hussamuddin defeated France’s Enzo Grau. Both the results were split 1-4 verdicts, PTI reports.

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There was disappointment elsewhere as India endured six opening-round defeats on Tuesday evening. Among the men, South Asian Games gold-medallist Ankit Khatana (75kg), Asian silver-medallist Deepak Kumar (52kg), Narender (+91kg), and Naveen Kumar (91kg) made early exits. Nupur (75kg) and Lalita (69kg) were the ones to bow out in the women’s draw.

Nupur was outpunched 0-5 by France’s Davina Michel, while Lalita lost 1-4 to Poland’s Karolina Koszewska. Khatana was beaten 0-5 by the USA’s Javier Martinez. Narender also lost by a similar margin to another American — Richard Torrez Jr. Deepak went down 1-4 to Spain’s Gabriel Escobar. Naveen lost 0-5 to Italy’s Abbes Mouhiidine.

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