Nitu Ghanghas beats Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg to hand India first gold at World Boxing C'ships 2023
The two-time World Youth champion carried on her rich vein of form to get the better of the two-time Asian Championships bronze medallist.
Nitu Ghanghas secured an unanimous decision win against Mongolia's Lutsaikhan Altantsetseg to clinch a gold in the 45-48 kg category finals at the Women's World Boxing Championships in New Delhi on Saturday. The two-time World Youth champion carried on her rich vein of form to get the better of the Mongolian, who is also a two-time Asian Championships bronze medalist.
Nitu started the opening round on an attacking note and kept the upper hand throughout the three minutes. Such was her command that all the five judges declared the round in her favour.
There was strong retaliation by the Mongolian in the second round as Nitu lost balance on a couple of occasion. However, Nitu maintained her composure and responded with some powerful jabs to win the round 3:2.
The intent from Nitu remained the same in the final round. Despite receiving a yellow card straightaway, Nitu continued her aggressive approach. Her opponent too received the same card moments later as she tried to fight her way into the contest.
Despite her strong charge, the officials declared the Indian the winner, which also marks India's first gold medal at the tournament.
Nitu, who is also a Commonwealth Games gold medalist, was enjoying a supreme run in the tournament and had secured three Referee Stops Contest (RSC) wins. She faced a tough competition in the semifinals against familar nemesis Kazakhstan's Alua Balkibekova, whom she defeated 5-2 after a split decision verdict. Balkibekova had eliminated Nitu in the quarterfinals of the World Championship last year.
With this victory, Nitu, a 2022 Strandja Memorial gold medallist, became the sixth Indian boxer to be crowned world champion. Six-time champion Mary Kom (2002, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2018), Sarita Devi (2006), Jenny RL (2006), Lekha KC (2006) and Nikhat Zareen (2022) are the other pugilists who have won the world title.