Amit Panghal Takes Giant Leap Into Big League With Demolition of Olympic Champ
Amit Panghal fought the fight of his life, and easily the best bout of his career to upset reigning Olympic champion and World No. 1 Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan to win the 49kg Flyweight Gold at the Asian Games.
Amit Panghal fought the fight of his life, and easily the best bout of his career to upset reigning Olympic champion and World No. 1 Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan to win the 49kg Flyweight Gold at the Asian Games. In what was undoubtedly one of the biggest upsets of the tournament by an Indian athlete, 22 year old Amit beat Dusmatov by split decision in his final bout, 3-2.
25 year old Dusmatov is one of the best boxers in his weight category in the world, but hasn’t had the best run since his Olympic gold in Rio. Earlier this year in fact, he was beaten by India’s NT Lalbiakkima in the quarter final of the President’s Cup.
That doesn’t take any credit away of course from Amit who displayed tremendous footwork, and some very intelligent boxing to outclass his fancied opponent. Amit moved swiftly and snucked in his punches towards the end of the first round, and dominated the show in the second. In the final round, the Indian didn’t get bogged down even as the Uzbeki tried to outpunch him a few times.
The youngster from Rohtak, who won a Commonwealth Games silver earlier this year, had lost to this same opponent 5-0 in the quarter finals of the World Championships in Hamburg last year. In fact, even in the semi-final of the Asian Championships, the Uzbek had got the better of the Indian.
Amit’s beginnings were humble. He started out while still in school, inspired by his elder brother who was a state level boxer. Coach Anil Dhankar brought him from Rohtak to Gurgaon, as the training facilities were better.
The Junior Commissioned Officer in the Indian Army has had a stellar 2018 in which he won gold at the inaugural India Open and also the prestigious Strandja Memorial tournament in Bulgaria.
It would be safe to say that very few Indian boxers in recent times have displayed this level of dominance over an opponent. Vijender Singh and Vikas Krishan’s names come to mind from the time when the two pugilists were at their top. Incidentally, Vijender and Vikas were the last two Indian boxers to have won Asian Games golds, at the 2010 edition in Guangzhou.
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