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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

Amit Panghal: All you need to know about India’s boxing sensation

Amit Panghal is one of India’s biggest medal hopes even in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Panghal will fight in the same weight category even in the Olympics.

other-sports Updated: Sep 20, 2019 16:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Amit Panghal has reached World Championship final.
Amit Panghal has reached World Championship final.(PTI)

Amit Panghal became the first Indian pugilist to reach the finals of World Men’s Boxing Championships after he defeated Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov in the last-four stage. Second-seeded Panghal prevailed 3-2 in an exhausting bout to make the summit clash. He will take on Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov on Saturday. Zoirov defeated Frenchman Billal Bennama in his semifinal showdown.

He is one of India’s biggest medal hopes even in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Panghal will fight in the same weight category in the Olympics.

Here’s all you need to know about Amit Panghal

A star is born: Born on 16 October 1995 in Mayna village of Rohtak district, Haryana, Amit Panghal was inspired by his brother Ajay, who is a former Amateur boxer. Amit’s father Chaudhary Vijender Singh Panghal, is a farmer in Mayna.

Early life and ‘best coach’: Amit was introduced to boxing by Ajay, who is in the Indian Army. Amit in fact considers his brother as the best coach he has ever had. “My elder brother Ajay deserves a lot of credit. He’s actually the best coach for me. He always derives strategies for me. And I make sure I speak to him before every match,” Panghal had told Hindustan Times in an exclusive chat earlier.

Had luck been on his side then Ajay himself could have brought laurels to India just like his brother Amit. But as fate would have it, the Panghal family could only afford training of only one of the brothers and it was Ajay who insisted that it should be Amit and not him.

Claim to fame: Panghal won the gold medal in his debut appearance at the National Boxing Championships in 2017. But he grabbed the headlines a few months later when he claimed a bronze in Asian Championships in 2017.

That Asian Championship medal earned him a qualification in the World Championships where he was beaten in the quarterfinal by Hasanboy Dusmatov. Panghal came back strong from that defeat and won a silver in 2018 Commonwealth Games. In the same year, he went on to win a gold at Asian Games, when he defeated Rio Olympic medalist Dusmatov, the same opponent to whom he had lost at Worlds a year before.

Amit had to change his weight category, before the start of 2019, from 49 to 52 kg as the former category was discontinued from Olympics. But despite a change in category, his form continued in 2019, when he went on to win the gold in the Asian Boxing Championships in Bangkok. Now, he will compete in the gold medal match at World Boxing Championships, where he could become India’s first male gold medallist at Worlds.