Two-time World youth champion Nitu Ghanghas sent seasoned Romanian boxer Steluta Duta packing in her 48kg opening round bout in the World women’s boxing championships at Istanbul on Tuesday.
Making her World championships debut at the elite level, reigning National champion Nitu beat Steluta 5-0 in a highly physical bout.
Hailing from Dhanana village of Bhiwani district of Haryana, Nitu, who learnt the game at the well-known Bhiwani Boxing Club (BBC), once again displayed the consistent progress she has been making since winning her first World youth title at Guwahati in 2017.
Taking on an immensely experienced opponent who is 19 years older than her, 21-year-old Nitu – also a Strandja Memorial tournament gold medallist – displayed her alertness and deft footwork in a duel between two southpaws.
Steluta, the shorter of the two, launched an immediate attack. She bent and clinched to restrict Nitu’s shots and fell on the canvas thrice as the Indian, who also fell down once, tried to free herself.
However, the young Indian managed to land a few shots on the target and won a unanimous decision in the first round.
Nitu relied on her swift movement to dominate the second round as well despite getting a caution.
A former World championships silver medallist, Steluta, who was cautioned in the final round, lost steam. Nitu took advantage of her better endurance level to deliver some fine combinations, forcing a standing count on her opponent, from long range.
Nitu will meet promising Spaniard boxer Marta Lopez, who defeated Vietnamese professional boxer and current WBO mini flyweight champion Nguyen Thi Thu Nhi with a 5-0 verdict, in the pre-quarterfinals.