Amit Panghal outwits Olympic champion to claim India’s only boxing gold


Gold-medallist India’s Amit Panghal (C) during the presentation ceremony for Men’s light fly (46-49kg) boxing at the 18th Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta. Photo: PTI

JAKARTA, September 1: Amit Panghal (49kg) on Saturday became only the eighth Indian boxer ever to claim a gold medal at the Asian Games with a stunning tactical win over reigning Olympic and Asian champion Hasanboy Dusmatov in the summit clash.
The 22-year-old Armyman, the only Indian to make the finals, prevailed 3-2 against the more fancied Dusmatov, who had beaten him in a split verdict in last year’s world championships.
India signed off its boxing campaign at teh Games with a gold and a bronze, won by Vikas Krishan in the middle-weight category.
Amit, making his debut at the Games, showed immense tactical brilliance, especially in defence to outmanoeuvre the Uzbek, who has an iconic status in international boxing. Dusmatov won a silver in the world championship last year.
But today, the Haryana-boxer extracted sweet revenge for the narrow loss in Hamburg, keeping his range and striking some clean right hooks and jabs to unsettle his shorter and slightly edgy opponent.
“I had lost to him before, so I had to take revenge. Coach Santiago (Nieva) and other coaches had prepared me well. In the semifinal, I did not play the first round well, here I did not repeat that mistake,” Amit said after the bout.
“The coach asked me get him on counter-attack. The training in England and at the camp in India helped. I had sparred with southpaw boxers at both places. I knew how to take advantage of the upper cut,” he added. (PTI)