Nikhat Zareen is an Indian boxer. In 2011, she won the International Boxing Association (amateur) Women’s Youth & Junior World Championships organised in Antalya. In 2019, she participated in the 2nd India Open International Boxing Tournament organised in Guwahati and won a bronze medal. Nikhat Zareen won a gold medal in 2022 at the Women’s World Championship in the 52kg category held in Turkey.
Nikhat Zareen was born on Friday, 14 June 1996 (age 25 years; as of 2022) in Nizamabad district, Telangana, India. Her zodiac sign is Gemini. Nikhat Zareen completed her school education at Nirmala Hrudaya Girls High School, Nizamabad. Later, she went to AV College in Hyderabad, Telangana to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Arts.
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Weight : 51 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Her father’s name is Mohammad Jameel Ahmed, and he is an estate agent.
Her mother’s name is Parveen Sultana.
She has three sisters.
The names of two of her sisters are Anjum Minaaz and Afnan Zareen. Her two elder sisters are doctors.
She is not married.
She follows the Islam religion.
Nikhat Zareen was enrolled by her father in the Sports Authority of India (Vishakhapatnam) in 2009. There, she was trained in boxing under Dronacharya awardee IV Rao. In the following year, Nikhat Zareen was announced as the ‘golden best boxer’ at the Erode Nationals. In 2011, she participated in the AIBA Women’s Junior and Youth World Boxing Championship held in Turkey and won a gold medal by defeating her competitor Ulku Demir from Turkey. In 204, she participated in the Youth World Boxing Championship held in Bulgaria and won a silver medal. On 12 January 2014, Nikhat Zareen participated in the third Nations Cup International Boxing Tournament held at Novi Sad, Serbia, in the 51 kg weight category, and won the gold medal by defeating her opponent boxer Paltceva Ekaterina from Russia. In 2015, she won a gold medal in the 16th Senior Woman National Boxing Championship held at Assam.
Nikhat Zareen clinched a silver medal in 2019 at Thailand Open International Boxing Tournament organised in Bangkok. In the same year, she won a gold medal at the Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament held in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The Bank of India zonal office at AC Guards, Hyderabad appointed Nikhat Zareen as its staff officer on 19 June 2021. Ukraine’s ‘Tetiana Kob,’ a three-time European Championships medallist, was defeated by Nikhat Zareen in the 73rd Strandja Memorial Boxing Tournament in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2022 and won a gold medal. During the same tournaments, Nikhat Zareen defeated Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Buse Naz Çakıroğlu in its semi-finals. On 19 May 2022, Nikhat Zareen participated in the Women’s World Championship held in Istanbul, Turkey, and she clinched a gold medal in the 52kg category after defeating her opponent Jitpong Jutamas from Thailand. Upon winning this event, Nikhat Zareen added her name to the top five women boxers in India including Mary Kom, Laishram Sarita Devi, Jenny R. L., and Lekha K. C.
Awards, Honours, Achievements
In 2014, Nikhat was appointed the official ambassador of her home town Nizamabad, Telangana. In 2016, Nikhat Zareen won the “The New Indian Express DEVI Award,” which was presented to her by Union minister M.Venkaiah Naidu.
In 2015, she won the ‘Best Boxer’ in the All India Inter-University Boxing Championship, Jalandhar, India. In 2019, she was the winner of the JFW award for Excellence in Sports.
- Food: Biryani and Nihari
- She follows a non-vegetarian diet.
- Nikhat Zareen’s father shifted to Nizamabad in India from Saudi Arabia where he was working for 15 years as a sales assistant before Nikhat and her younger sister decided to join sports.
- Nikhat Zareen’s father started providing her boxing training for a year soon after she completed her eighth standard. Once, Nikhat asked her father why the enrollment of women participants in all other sports categories in Urban Games was more than that in boxing. He then answered,
Kyunki kisi ke paas itna dum nahi hai.”
Soon after listening to his answer, Nikhat Zareen decided that she would opt for boxing as a sport. In an interview with a media house, she said,
It was then I decided what I had to do and I told my father that I want to show people that a girl could box too.”
- According to Nikat Zareen, her father is her inspiration to pursue boxing as a sport. In an interview with a media house, her father stated that there were some restrictions for the girls in Islam religion, but being a sportsperson himself, he motivated his daughter to win a gold medal in Rio that was once missed by Mary Kom in London games. He said,
There are restrictions in the Islamic religion. But, having been a sportsman myself, I believe there is no religion in sports. I tell Nikhat that Mary Kom missed the gold in London Games, but I want you to emulate that in Rio.”
- In 2017, Nikhat Zareen did not participate in any national boxing camps and tournaments as she suffered a shoulder injury for a year.
- The sports brand ‘Adidas’ appointed Nikhat Zareen as its brand ambassador in 2018. In her boxing training and practising, Nikhat Zareen is supported by the Welspun group. She is a member of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme of the Sports Authority of India.
- In 2019, the automatic selection of Mary Kom for the World Championships was opposed by Nikhat Zareen.
- Nikhat Zareen has three sisters, and her two elder sisters are doctors. The younger sister of Nikhat is a badminton player. According to Nikhat’s father, when Nikhat was thirteen years old, she told her family members that she wanted to join boxing as a sport and play for India. In a conversation with a media house, her father narrated that soon after she wished to join boxing, her family members allowed her to participate in the same; however, their relatives were resisting for choosing a sport in which a girl had to wear shorts. He stated,
But sometimes, relatives or friends would tell us that a girl should not play a sport where she has to wear shorts. But we knew that whatever Nikhat wanted, we would support her dream.”
- Nikhat Zareen is a fitness fanatic. She goes to the gym every day and regularly posts pictures of her workout sessions on various social media platforms.
- In a conversation with a media house, Nikhat’s father revealed that he always visited the national and international boxing events with Nikhat as he had to look after her diet and health. He stated,
I watch her diet and most importantly want to see that she’s training well. I like to tell her weaknesses after bouts and discuss with her how to improve. She feels encouraged in my presence. It will be a ‘two-man-show’.”
- Several well-known Indian magazines and tabloids often cover Nikhat Zareen in their articles.
- Nikhat Zareen regularly posts her pictures and videos on various social media platforms. Over 76k people follow her Instagram account. On Facebook, she is followed by more than 22k people.
- Nikhat Zareen’s uncle’s name is Samsamuddin. He has two sons named Etheshamuddin and Itishamuddni, who are national level boxers.
- The sports minister V. Srinivas Goud and the Sports Authority of Telangana State (SATS) honoured Nikhat Zareen with an electric scooter and a cash award of Rs 10,000 for her contribution to Indian athletics in 2020.
- Nikhat Zareen is an animal lover. She has a pet cat named Leo. Nikhat regularly posts pictures of her pet cat on various social media platforms.
- In May 2022, she shared a photo on Twitter in which she is seen along with Mary Kom. In 2019, Mary Kom vs Nikhat Zareen bout in women’s boxing trials was in the spotlight after Nikhat Zareen publicly demanded for a fair Olympic selection trial. After winning the bout, Mary Kom did not shake hands with her opponent Nikhat Zareen and said,
Why should I shake hands with her? If she want others to respect her then she should first respect others. I don’t like people with such nature. Just prove your point inside the ring, not outside.”