Amit Panghal missing in the 52kg last to Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan.© BFI
Defending champion Amit Panghal (52kg) needed to be satisfied with a silver medal in this year’s Asian Boxing Championships after losing an exhausting last to known nemesis Shakhobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan, in Dubai on Monday. The Indian missing 2-3 in what used to be a repeat of the 2019 world championship last, which had also ended in Zoirov’s victory. The contest lived up to the hype with both the Olympic-bound boxers busy in a fast exchange of punches from the first actual round.
Zoirov claimed the opening round. But in the second one round, Panghal raised his game by a notch, evading Zoirov’s range with his pace and touchdown his left straights exactly. Zoirov, then again, struggled to connect.
The two went all out in the third round but it used to be Panghal who used to be more impressive with his body shots despite an injured eye. He even had the judges’ judgement in his favour for the round but it used to be not enough to alter the last score-line.
With 15 medals, India surpassed their preceding best-ever show at this Championship, achieved in 2019, when the country secured 13 medals in all, including two gold.
On Monday, Pooja Rani (75kg) used to be the lone woman boxer to strike gold, while six-time world champion M C Mary Kom (51kg), and tournament debutants Lalbuatsaihi (64kg) and Anupama (81+kg) ended with silver medals after near losses in the finals.
Eight other Indians — Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), and Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), and Jaismine (57kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (64kg), Monika (48kg), Saweety (81kg) and Varinder Singh (60kg) — secured bronze medals after semifinal losses.
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