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Asian Boxing Qualifiers: Amit Panghal Books Maiden Olympics Spot, Through to Semi-final

Amit Panghal (Photo Credit: BFI)

Amit Panghal (Photo Credit: BFI)

Amit Panghal defeated Carlo Paalam of the Philippines in a split decision to book his place in the semi-finals of the Asian Boxing Qualifiers and hence his maiden Olympic spot.

Amman: Top seed and reigning world silver-medallist Amit Panghal (52kg) defeated familiar foe Carlo Paalam of Philippines in the quarter-final by a 1-4 split verdict to book his spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as well as the semi-finals.

Panghal had beaten him in the semi-finals of the 2018 Asian Games and the quarterfinals of the 2019 world championships as well.

"I dedicate my Olympic quota to my uncle Raj Narayan, it's his birthday and he is someone who gives me a lot of courage," said Panghal after his bout.

"I followed the instructions given by my coaches. I ensured that he didn't get on top of me. I think I was pretty consistent in all three rounds," Panghal said.

Next up for Panghal is China's Jianguan Hu, who stunned world bronze-medallist and fourth seed Kazakh Saken Bibossinov 5-0.

"I have beaten him in the Asian Championships and I know how to get the better of him," Panghal said of his next opponent.

The Haryana lad didn't exactly look at his best during the bout but his trademark counter-attacking game fetched him the desired result against a rival, who is challenging him more with every fresh encounter.

Manish Kaushik (63kg) remained in the hunt for a Tokyo ticket despite losing his quarterfinal boutas he can win the box-off between losing quarterfinalists as the top six boxers will claim Tokyo tickets in the 63kg category.

Kaushik, who was up against an Asian Games silver-medallist, started well but lost steam in the face of relentless body shots by Baatarsukh, a two-time podium finisher at the Asian Championships.

Baatarsukh had lost to Kaushik in the second round of the world championships last year and he extracted revenge with an aggressive takedown of the Indian, especially in the final three minutes.

Earlier, former junior world champion Sakshi Chaudhary (57kg) though failed to secure an Olympic berth after going down to Korea's Im Aeji in the quarterfinals of the Asian Qualifiers here on Monday.

The 19-year-old Chaudhary lost 0-5 to Im, who is also a former world youth champion. Only the semifinalists are entitled to an Olympic berth in the women's 57kg category.

Im will face Japan's 19-year-old Irie Sena, who upstaged world champion and top seed Nesthy Petecio of Philippines in a split decision. Petecio was docked a point for holding in the second round which ultimately played a decisive role in her 2-3 loss.

(With inputs from PTI)