The World Championship silver medallist Amit Panghal lived up to his reputation as he defeated Kharkhuu Enkhmandakh 3-2 in the 52kg quarter-finals at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai on Wednesday. Vikas Krishan and Varinder also registered victories and assured India two more medals to take tally to 15—country’s best-ever medal haul at the Asian Championships surpassing 13 medals of the 2019 edition.
In the 52kg last-8 match, both Panghal and Enkhmandakh started the contest in a contrasting manner. While Indian made a cautious start, 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 fast paced fierce battle. With some timely and precise punches, the top seeded Panghal edged past the opponent. His tactical brilliance put himself ahead of Enkhmandakh and tilted the verdict in his favour in a closely-fought game.
With this victory, the defending champion Panghal progressed into 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 (60kg) outclassed Samuel Dela Cruz of Philippines 5-0 in 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 stiff challenge from top seed and defending Champion Bobo Usmon Baturov of Uzbekistan in the semi-finals.
Later on the third day of the Championships, two more Indian pugilists Ashish Kumar (75kg) and Narender (+91) will be seen in action and will look to make winning starts in the tournament and confirm medals for the country.
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.