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Wednesday, Oct 16, 2019

Amit Panghal talks about his ‘best coach’ & next objective after returning with gold from Asian Championships - Exclusive

Amit Panghal had to change his weight category from 49 to 52 kg as the former category was discontinued from Olympics, has now set his eyes on the World Boxing Championships.

other-sports Updated: Apr 30, 2019 17:15 IST
Aritra Mukherjee
Aritra Mukherjee
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Jakarta: India's Amit Panghal (Blue) and PR Korea's Ryong Jong compete in the Men's Light Fly (46-49kg) Quarterfinal boxing event in the 18th Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia on Wednesday, Aug 29, 2018.
Jakarta: India's Amit Panghal (Blue) and PR Korea's Ryong Jong compete in the Men's Light Fly (46-49kg) Quarterfinal boxing event in the 18th Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia on Wednesday, Aug 29, 2018. (PTI)
         

Amit Panghal is a fidgety character. He doesn’t know how to stand still. Even in the middle of an interview, he drifts away naturally. Sometimes to shake hands with a fellow boxer or to fetch a bottle of water, sometimes just without any reason. After a while you realize, he has no intentions of being ignorant, it’s just his nature. Perhaps this very quality helps him inside the ring too. Panghal’s swift movements, nimble footwork makes it impossible for his opponents to line him up and launch the punches, he’s always on the move.

The only time the restlessness goes away is when he is talking to his brother Ajay Singh and he does that a lot. An entirely different Amit Panghal comes out when he is on the phone with his brother. No movement, no sign of agitation. He just listens to Ajay attentively, not because the traditional roots force him to do so but because he considers his brother as the ‘best coach.’

ALSO READ: Asian Boxing Championships: Amit Panghal wins gold in 52 kg category

“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, who returned with a gold in the recently concluded Asian Boxing Championship, told Hindustan Times in an exclusive chat.

The fact that Panghal’s brother Ajay was a boxer himself helps a lot. He understands his brother like nobody else and his invaluable suggestions has helped Panghal to come out on top of some of the most difficult matches of his career.

“He used to watch videos of my opponents before every bout in the Asian Championships and tell me what to do, where to improve and all...Before the semi-finals, he told that the boxer is powerful and I should not open my punches in the first round... And guess what? His strategy worked,” said Panghal. 

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 Amit and not him.

“He (Ajay) was a very good boxer himself but our financial condition was not that good so he told my father that I should be allowed to continue and he would think of something else,” the Asian Games gold medallist said with a lot of emotion.

After four Asian Boxing Championship medals – the first Indian to do so – an Asian Games gold and a Commonwealth Games silver to his name, Amit believes he has done his brother proud, who is now a Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) in the Indian Army.

ALSO READ: BFI nominates Amit Panghal, Gaurav Bidhuri for Arjuna award again

Amit, who had to change his weight category from 49 to 52 kg as the former category was discontinued from Olympics, has now set his eyes on the World Boxing Championships.

“Changing weight category is never easy. You have to work on your reach, footwork and change the diet as well. I will have to work even harder now, my next goal is to secure an Olympic quota for India by winning the World Championships.”

The World Boxing Championships are slated to begin from September 7 in Russia.

First Published: Apr 30, 2019 17:12 IST

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