MUMBAI — CWG 2022 Gold medalist Nikhat Zareen credits her father Mohammad Jameel Ahmed for introducing her to boxing and fighting against the society to help her in the boxing career on the quiz-based reality show ‘Kaun Banega Crorepati 14’, hosted by superstar Amitabh Bachchan.
Nikhat said: “More than me, my father deserves all the medals that I have won yet because the society that I belong to does not permit women to play a male-dominated sport. Even after that, earning a name and fame in that sport was a big achievement for me.
“I have only fought in the boxing ring but my father has fought in real life. He listened to the taunts of people who said things like ‘Why are you putting your daughter in boxing, she will get roughed up. You have four daughters and people will stop sending marriage offers for them’.”
Nikhat continued: “Many people also said that our religion does not permit wearing shorts. My father did not lend his ear to anyone and always told me, ‘Beta, focus on boxing. Rest when you win medals and earn fame, these would be the people who would click pictures with you.'”
“My father left his job to support me in boxing. Even though we were going through financial troubles, my parents did not ever tell me to quit.”
She shared how her father took a loan and did everything possible to provide her proper diet. “They mortgaged the house only to take care of my needs like travel and nutrition. A lot of times my father would accompany me to competitions and would do rounds of State and Federation offices to claim support for me. The soles of his shoes had worn off, and that would make me emotional.”
She called her father on stage and made him wear her CWG gold medal.
Zareen also called the boxing legend Muhammad Ali her role model and showed Muhammad Ali’s shuffle footwork that amazed the host. Big B later praised the greatest boxer and also talks about the time he met him in Los Angeles.
Boxer Nikhat Zareen and Olympic and CWG medal-winning weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu appeared in the Hotseat on September 5 on ‘KBC 14’. The show airs on Sony Entertainment Television. — IANS