India’s Olympic-bound men pugilists Amit Panghal, Vikas Krishan and Ashish Kumar will kick-start their campaign at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships as the trio alongside country’s two other boxers are set to play quarter-finals on third day in Dubai on Wednesday. The on-going Championships is jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation.
The World Championships silver medallist and defending champion Panghal will face a strong challenge from Kharkhuu Enkhmandakh in the 52 kg bout. When the duo last met at the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Amman, Jordan last year, the Mongolian boxer had put up a tough fight before the Indian managed to win. The Asian Games champion Vikas Krishan will square off against Iran’s Moslem Malamir in 69kg.
Ashish Kumar (75kg), who clinched silver medal in the last edition of the event, and Narender (+91kg) will also be up against powerful opponents from Kazakhstan. While Ashish will play World Championships and Asian Games silver medallist Abilkhan Amankul, Narender is set to fight against the two-time world championships silver medallist Kamshybek Kunkabayev, who is also aiming for his third successive medal at the Asian Championships.
Current national champion Punjab boxer Varinder Singh (60kg) is the other Indian pugilist who will be looking to confirm a medal for the country as he will take on Jere Cruz of Philippines in lightweight last-8 bout.
In the 81kg opening round bout played late in the night on Monday, Sumit Sangwan suffered a 5-0 defeat against Iranian boxer Meysam Gheshlaghi.
Later tonight, six Indian boxers will be in action in the quarter-finals on the second day of the prestigious event which has been witnessing the presence of 150 boxers from 17 countries including strong boxing nations such as India, Uzbekistan, Philippines and Kazakhstan. Mohammad Hussamuddin (56kg), Shiva Thapa (64kg), Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Sakshi (54kg), Jasmine (57kg) and Sanjeet (91kg) will look to assure medals for the country in their respective categories.