Sixteen bouts were held on the second competition day at the 12th edition of the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in Istanbul, Turkey. All of the bouts were featured in the smallest category, the minimumweight (48kg), and the winners joined the 1/8 final.
The main favourite for the title in this weight class, India’s Nitu defeated the most experienced boxer of the championships, Romania’s 40-year-old Steluta Duta who had more than 400 contests during her career. France’s Rim Bennama proved her excellent skills and she follows her successful elder brother, Bilal Bennama to conquer the world.
Demie-Jade Resztan won a hard tactical contest on Day2
England’s Demie-Jade Resztan was a silver medalist at the 2019 EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships, and she won her last preparation tournament before the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. She expected a hard battle against South Korea’s Bak Cho Rong who reached the quarter-final in the New Delhi 2018 edition. The South Korean did not compete in any international events in the recent two years, her only target was national championships previously. The South Korean team trained in Assisi before the event and Bak showed her excellent footwork in the tactical first round when both boxers tried to maintain the best fighting distance. The English southpaw felt comfortable in the middle of the ring in the second round and was careful with the Korean counter-punches. Bak worked only from long distance in this contest, however, her tactical preparation was not good enough today, and Resztan won the contest by split decision.
Madoka Wada is on the way to her third medal
Madoka Wada from Japan earned bronze medals in the 2014 and 2018 editions of the Women’s World Boxing Championships. She competed only in national-level events in the recent two and a half years. Wada has a longer reach than Italy’s Roberta Bonatti but she looked nervous in the first round of their preliminary bout. The younger Italian stepped into closer fighting range in the second round and lead the rhythm of the bout of two southpaws. Bonatti’s right hand was dangerous and she had the speed to land punches while Wada tried to keep her at a long distance. The Japanese boxer advanced to the 1/8 final of the minimumweight (48kg) after beating the energetic Italian by split decision.
“This was not my best performance today, I guarantee that I will do it better next but the important is the victory against an excellent rival,” Wada said.
Rim Bennama follows her brother’s pathway
Billal Bennama achieved a bronze medal for France at the 2019 and 2021 AIBA Men’s Elite World Boxing Championships. His younger sister, Rim has gained plenty of experience in junior, youth and U-22 competitions, and she is now member of their women’s elite national team. The 21-year-old French met with a young Asian opponent, Chinese Taipei’s Cai Zi Han and, as her elder brother, she used her longer reach well in the bout. Bennama stopped her opponent’s attacks in the first round and used her jabs effectively in the second, despite Cai’s massive punch in the middle of the round. Bennama landed the clearer punches in the second and third rounds and won the contest. Her style is now very similar to her brother’s boxing manner.
“This is my last competition in the minimumweight and it was not so easy for me to make the weight before the start of the Championships. I will move up to the light flyweight after this competition. I tried to use my best distance against my opponent today and luckily I succeeded,” mentioned Bennama.
Sevda Asenova is still on the top
Bulgaria’s veteran Sevda Asenova won the EUBC European Women’s Boxing Championships in the smallest weight category in 2016 and she has one and a half decade of international experience. The Bulgarian met with a young opponent from Tajikistan, Sumaiya Kosimova, who earned a silver medal at the ASBC Asian U22 Boxing Championships. Asenova is already 37-years-old but she still has the speed to beat the members of the new generation. The Bulgarian found her best tempo in the second part of the first round and after that she looked more confident in the second. Kosimova punched mostly the air due to Asenova’s fast footwork, therefore, the Bulgarian won their contest unanimously.
Spain’s first success was delivered by Marta Lopez Del Arbol
Marta Lopez Del Arbol from Spain competed in the 2018 AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships, and this is her first major event among the elite boxers. She claimed a bronze medal at the Bocskai Memorial Tournament and increased her experience in several other competitions. Lopez felt the support of her teammates in her debuting contest in Istanbul and she did great job against Vietnam’s lone competitor in the event, Nguyen Thi Thu Nhi. The Spanish competitor was quicker in the exchanges and she had the clear advantage after two rounds of contest. Lopez enjoyed the third round when she felt she has a great advantage and celebrated her first success in Istanbul.
“I am really tired after this bout, I gave in everything to win my first challenge in this Championships. I moved a lot on my feet and tried to use my best game strategy today. I am expecting a seriously hard battle in the next round as India and Romania both are strong boxing countries,” said Lopez after her success.
Nitu eliminated the most experienced boxer of the entire Championships
One of the top contests in the minimumweight (48kg) was held between India’s Nitu Ghanghas and Romania’s Steluta Duta today. The small Romanian is multiple European Champion, she claimed silver medal at the Women’s World Boxing Championships during her golden age. Duta spends her last year in the ring as she is now 40-year-old but the Romanian is still hungry for the success. She had a tough start of the campaign, her opponent Nitu won this year the Strandja Memorial Tournament. Duta is a real fighter, she never stopped attacking but Nitu controlled their contest with her longer reach. The 18-years-younger Indian had better technical skills and she was fresh enough in the third round to beat the Romanian veteran.
“After my success at Strandja, I felt that I am more confident during my bouts. It was not an easy fight, but I have to go ahead step by step in this Championships,” commented her triumph India’s Nitu after the bout.