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Unleashing Strength: The Inspiring Rise of Nikhat Zareen, Two-Time World Champion

Every challenge in life ignited a spark within her. She dared to excel in a profession where women were considered weak, and that spark helped her to become a world champion. Nikhat Zareen enters the ring with a firm belief that women can participate in boxing like men and strives to showcase the power of women in that field.

Nikhat Zareen is an Indian boxer and a 2-time world champion. She was the gold medalist at the 2011 AIBA Women’s Youth & Junior World Boxing Championships in Antalya. She won gold medals at the 2022 Istanbul and 2023 New Delhi IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships.


Nikhat Zareen was born on June 14, 1996, in Telangana’s Nizamabad. She was born to an orthodox Muslim family. Her family consists of her father, Mohammad Jameel Ahmad, her mother,  Parveen Sultana, and three more sisters.


Nikhat received her schooling from Nirmala Hriday Girls High School, Nizamabad and graduated in Arts from AV College, Hyderabad, Telangana.

She Didn’t Choose Boxing, But Boxing Chose Her

According to Zareen, she came to boxing accidentally. Nikhat was a naughty child fighting with the neighbour’s children and scaling trees. Her father, an athlete, encouraged her to run to utilise her excessive energy. Even though she was good in short sprints, Nikhat’s focus was on boxing.

Why Girls Not To Boxing?

Zareen observed that girls participated in every sport except boxing. When she asked her father about it, he replied that people don’t expect girls to do such things. That prompted her to start boxing.

Pressure On Her Family

Neighbours and family forced her parents to reconsider their decision to continue boxing by allowing her to wear shorts. The family also faced some financial difficulties. But nothing could sway her or her family’s resolve.

Father, Her Trainer

Zareen’s father, Mohammad Jameel Ahmed, introduced her to boxing, and she trained with him for a year. In Nizamabad at the time, no other girls were participating in boxing. So Zareen attended the training sessions along with the boys.

Enhancing Strength

Nikhat joined the Sports Authority of India in Vishakhapatnam in 2009 to train under Dronacharya Awardee  Rao. She was rewarded with victories a year later, including the sub-junior national title, and followed it up with a gold medal at the Junior and Youth World Championships in 2011. She won another silver at the Youth World Championships in 2013 and soon began her difficult transition to the senior circuit. She was declared the ‘golden best boxer’ at the Erode Nationals in 2010.

Idol and Opponent

When she fought in the flyweight (51 kg) division, Zareen had to face off against her idol Mary Kom. She had a really tough time dealing with Mary Kom.

Brand Ambassador

Nikhat was selected to represent Nizamabad, Telangana, as its official ambassador. Since 2018, she has also been working as a brand ambassador for Adidas. The Welspun group supports Zareen, and she is a part of the Sports Authority of India’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme.

Staff Officer

Zareen was appointed as a Staff  Officer at the Bank Of India Zonal Office at A C Guards, Hyderabad, from 19th June 2021.

Punching Against The Odds

Nikhat Zareen decided to take a route that prioritised Masculine supremacy. She desired to establish her individuality and always had high objectives. Zareen won against all odds and proved that women can participate in such a game. Everyone warned her against playing a sport that required short dresses and told her that no one would marry a woman whose face was broken while boxing.

When dreams spread their wings

She sustained a shoulder injury in 2017, which kept her from working for a  year. In defiance of many who claimed her career was over, she staged a valiant comeback. Her ambitions prevented her from ending her career there. Each of her following accomplishments was the result of her tenacity and willpower.


Zareen became the fifth Indian woman boxer to win a gold medal at the World Championship. She was the second Indian boxer to win a World Championships Gold Medal abroad after M.C. Mary Kom.

Nikhat won the title of “Best Boxer” at the All India Inter-University Boxing Championship in Jalandhar, Punjab, in February 2015. She also won the JFW Award for Excellence in Sports in 2019, the Arjuna Award in 2022, and The New Indian Express Devi Award among others.


Gold Medal winner

Nikhat Zareen won  Gold medals in the 2023 World Boxing Championships in New Delhi, the AIBA Women’s Junior and Youth World Boxing Championship in Turkey,  the 2022 World Boxing Championship in Istanbul,  the third Nations Cup International Boxing Tournament held in Novi Sad, Serbia on 12 January 2014,  the 16th Senior Woman National Boxing Championship at Assam, at Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament held in Sofia, Bulgaria and the Women’s Junior and Youth World Boxing Championship in Istanbul. Zareen also achieved gold at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games after defeating Carly McNaul of Northern Ireland by 5-0 on 7 August 2022 in the 48–50 kg category and won the 2nd world championship gold medal in the 2023 New Delhi IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships after defeating Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Tam by 5-0 unanimous decision in the 48-50 kg category on 26 March 2023.

She received  Silver medals in the Youth World Boxing Championships 2013, Youth World Boxing Championship held in Bulgaria in 2014, Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament held in Bangkok, Albena and a Bronze medal in the 2019 Bangkok Asian Boxing Championships.

As a world champion, Nikhat Zareen joined the Indian boxers Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Jenny RL, and Lekha KC. She successfully defended her title a year later in New Delhi, creating history by winning the world championship twice. Her bravery and tenacity were evident as she overcame her doubts about why girls shouldn’t participate in boxing to get to where she is today.  Her choice was not easy. But with her powerful hits, she kept on her path and became a role model for many.

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