The Indian boxing scene was already aware of Nikhat Zareen’s talent with her numerous triumphs on the national stage, but she was mostly involved in conversations about being the successor to the legendary Mary Kom.
However, the year 2022 has been the most vital in her career, as the back to back gold medals has put Zareen into the top strata at the international stage, and she is now determined to etch her own identity.
Back in May, Zareen marked a superb finish to her campaign at the 2022 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul as she became the reigning world champion with a gold in flyweight, with a dominating 5-0 victory over Thai pugilist Jutamas Jinping.
The superb feat followed up with ‘Nikki’ bagging her second gold of the year at the recently concluded 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, where the 26-year-old from Nizamabad repeated another 5-0 finish over Carly McNaul of Northern Ireland in the light flyweight summit clash.
Speaking to News18 in an exclusive interview, Zareen said that the World Championship and CWG golds have changed her as a person.
“Earlier, I was nobody with none knowing my name. Now, people started messaging me, they started inviting me to their homes. It feels good that people started appreciating me, started showing a lot of love towards me, and having a lot of expectations from me. From my side, I was always focused, always wanting to give my 100% in whatever competition I participate in. I am happy I could win golds in both World Championships and the CWG,” said Zareen.
“I want to be known as Nikhat Zareen and not a challenger of Mary Kom. She is a legend, no doubt. I have been working hard for so many years not to be just called the ‘next Mary Kom’,” she went on, “The way she has a lot of achievements, if I am able to win such medals, that will be a great thing for me. I want to be like her but want to be known as Nikhat Zareen. I am glad people have started to know who Nikhat Zareen is. Now, I am focussed on winning the way I have been doing in recent times.”
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