Global Sports

India's dream run continues at Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai

Filed on May 26, 2021
Amit Panghal (left) of India beat Kharku Enkhmandakh of Mongolia for a place in the semifinals. (Supplied photo)

In the last four clash, Panghal will take on Kazakh boxer Saken Bibossinov

The World Championship silver medallist Amit Panghal of India lived up to his reputation as he defeated Kharku Enkhmandakh 3-2 in the 52kg quarterfinals at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai on Wednesday.

Vikas Krishan and Varinder also registered victories and assured India of two more medals to take the tally to 15 — the country’s best ever medal haul at the Asian Championships, surpassing the 13 medals it won at the 2019 edition of the event.

In the 52kg last eight encounter, both Panghal and Enkhmandakh started the contest in contrasting styles. While the Indian fighter 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 exchanged some heavy blows in fast-paced, fierce battle.

With some timely and precise punches, the top seeded Panghal edged past the tricky Mongolian opponent. His tactical brilliance put him ahead of Enkhmandakh and tilted the verdict in his favour in the hard-fought game.

With this victory, the defending champion Panghal advanced to the semifinals and confirmed his third successive Asian Championships medal after winning a gold in 2019 and a bronze in 2017.

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

Extending India’s winning run on the third day of the championships, which is being 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 a one-sided quarterfinal and handed India their 14th medal at the prestigious event.

He will now take on 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.

Vikas will face stiff challenge from top seed and defending champion, Bobo Usmon Baturov of Uzbekistan, in the semifinals.

Having secured medal in each category, 10 Indian women boxers, including the six-time world champion MC Mary Kom (51kg), will play their respective semifinals on Thursday.

Simranjit (60kg), Sakshi (54kg), Jaismine (57kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Monika (48kg), Saweety (81kg) and Anupama (+81kg) are the other Indian boxers in contention for the final berths of their respective events.

As many as 150 boxers from 17 countries are taking part at the Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai.

India was scheduled to host the event, but with the country battling a deadly second wave of Covid-19 infections, the organisers decided to move the tournament to the UAE.

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