Asian Boxing: Amit, Vikas and Varinder storm into semis; India assured of 15 medals
Dubai, May 27 (UNI) Defending champion Amit Panghal (52kg), debutant Varinder Singh (60kg) and Vikas Krishan (69kg) advanced to the semifinals, assuring India of record-breaking 15 medals at the ongoing 2021 Asian Boxing Championships, here.
India’s previous best-ever medal haul was 13 that was achieved in the 2019 edition of the tournament.
In the first Indian bout on Wednesday, the World Championship silver medallist Panghal lived up to his reputation and defeated Kharkhuu Enkhmandakh 3-2 in the 52kg quarter-finals.
Both Panghal and Enkhmandakh started the contest in a contrasting manner. While Indian made a cautious start, the Mongolian boxer was aggressive from the word go. However, despite making a defensive start, Panghal quickly shifted gears as both the boxers saw exchanging some heavy blows in a fast-paced fierce battle.
With some timely and precise punches, the top-seeded Panghal edged past the opponent. His tactical brilliance put him ahead of Enkhmandakh and tilted the verdict in his favour in a closely fought game.
With this victory, the defending champion Panghal progressed into the semi-finals and confirmed his third successive Asian Championships medal after gold in 2019 and bronze in 2017.
In the last-4 clash, Panghal will take on Kazakh boxer Saken Bibossinov, whom he beat in the 2019 World Championships semi-finals.
Extending India’s winning-run on Day 3 of the Championships, which is jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation, Varinder Singh outclassed Samuel Dela Cruz of the Philippines 5-0 in a one-sided quarter-final and handed India its 14th medal at the prestigious event.
He will now square off against Iran’s Daniyal Shahbakhsh in the last-four stage.
In the third Indian bout of the day, World Championships bronze medallist Vikas Krishan defeated Iran’s Moslem Malamir 4-1 in 69kg semi-finals. Vikas will face a stiff challenge from top seed and defending Champion Bobo Usmon Baturov of Uzbekistan in the semi-finals.
However, Olympic-bound Ashish Kumar lost to Kazakhstan’s Abilkhan Amankul by a 3-2 split decision in the 75kg division.
Narender (+91kg) too lost, going down 5-0 to Kazakhstan’s Kamshybek Kunkabayev, a two-time world championships silver medallist.
Having secured medal in each category, 10 Indian women boxers including Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom (51kg), Simranjit (60kg), Sakshi (54kg), Jaismine (57kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Monika (48kg), Saweety (81kg) and Anupama (+81kg) will play their respective semi-finals on Thursday.
The on-going Championships has been witnessing the presence of 150 boxers from 17 countries including strong boxing nations such as India, Uzbekistan, Philippines and Kazakhstan.