India’s Shiva to Make Boxing Debut At CWG; Easy Draw for Nikhat, Lovlina

Lovlina Borgohain,Nikhat Zareen,Shiva Thapa

Veteran boxer Shiv Thapa, who won bronze at the 2015 World Championships in Doha, will open India’s campaign in the Commonwealth Games boxing event in Birmingham on Friday.

Tokyo Olympic Games bronze medalist Lovlina Borgohain will enter the ring for the women’s team on July 30 and will be joined by world champion Nikhat Zareen the next day.

The two face off against New Zealand’s Ariane Nicholson in the middleweight 66-70kg weight category but have an easy opening match with Lovlina starting against the dangerous Rosie Ackles of Wales, silver medalist in Gold Coast in 2018 in the quarter-finals .

Nikhat will open her campaign against Mozambique’s Helena Ismail Bagao in the women’s light flyweight category on Sunday and then face another opponent in the last-eight stage, Helen Jones of Wales.

In the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, India was second with 9 medals (3-3-3). Hosts Australia finished third with eight medals (3-2-3).

India have fielded a strong 12-man squad with eight men and will be hoping for a better performance.

Shiv Thapa will take on Sulaiman Baloch of Pakistan in the round of 32 match light welterweight (above 60kg).

Hasmuddin Mohammed and Sanjeet will enter the ring on the second day of competition in their respective first round matches and are expected to advance to the next stage.

In women’s lightweight (57-60kg), India’s Jasmine will face a tough quarter-final against New Zealand’s Troy Garten, bronze medalist in this weight category, in Gold Coast.

With only eight competitors in the women’s 45kg category, India’s Neetu will take on Nicole Clyde of Northern Ireland in the quarterfinals on August 3 and a win will ensure her a medal. But it can be a tough match for the Indian boxer.

Other Indian boxers have also got an easy draw with Asian Games gold medalist Amit Pangal starting his campaign against Vanuatu’s Namri Beri in the flyweight (48.5-51kg) division on August 1.

Husamuddin, who won bronze at the 2018 Games, will take on Amjole Dayi of South Africa in his first bout in the featherweight (54-5kg) division on July 30.

In the men’s light heavyweight (75 plus kg) division, Ashish Kumar will take on Niue’s Travis Tapatuetoa after getting a bye in the first round.

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