Amit Panghal leads the charge as India head for record haul at Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai

India guaranteed 15 medals after stunning day three

Amit Panghal ( red) lands a right jab on Kharkhuu Enkhmandakh in the Asian Boxing Championships at Le Meridien Grand Ballroom in Dubai on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Courtesy BFI
Amit Panghal ( red) lands a right jab on Kharkhuu Enkhmandakh in the Asian Boxing Championships at Le Meridien Grand Ballroom in Dubai on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. Courtesy BFI

India will claim their best-ever medals haul in the Asian Boxing Championships after Amit Panghal, Vikas Krishnan and Varinder Singh booked their spots in the semi-finals on day three in Dubai.

Panghal, a silver medallist at the World Championship, led the nation’s charge with a split decision result over Mongolian Kharkhuu Enkhmandakh in the 52kg quarter-finals at the Le Meridien.

They are now assured of 15 medals, two more than the previous best of 13 they won in the 2019 edition.

Panghal and Enkhmandakh started the contest in a contrasting manner. The Mongolian went on the offensive from the outset but the Indian kept his cool before shifting gears to win 3-2 on points.

The Tokyo Olympics-bound Panghal’s tactical brilliance put himself ahead of Enkhmandakh and tilted the verdict in his favour in a closely-fought bout.

The Indian was quick on his feet and maintained a safe distance in all three rounds to counter Enkhmandakh’s offence. The two exchanged blows throughout but it was Panghal’s counters that proved decisive.

With the victory, Panghal confirmed his third successive Asian Championships medal after gold in 2019 and bronze in 2017.

In the last-four clash, Panghal will take on Kazakh Saken Bibossinov, whom he beat in the 2019 World Championships semi-finals.

Extending India’s winning run on the night, Varinder (60kg) outclassed Samuel Dela Cruz of Philippines 5-0 and Krishnan (69kg) crushed Moslem Malamir of Iran 4-1.

Varinder, another Tokyo-bound boxer, will square off against Iran’s Daniyal Shahbakhsh and Krishnan meets top seed and defending champion Bobo Usmon Baturov of Uzbekistan in the semi-finals.

India arrived for the championships with a 19-member team, including seven Olympic boxers, where 150 boxers from 17 countries are participating in an event jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation.

Published: May 27, 2021 10:45 AM

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