Asian boxing: Panghal, Thapa offers a silver lining for India on the final day

Kolkata: India’s Olympic medalist Amit Panghal fought reigning Olympic champion Zoirov Shakhobidin in the 52kg final for men on Monday, the final day of the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai. Panghal, a defending champion in his kg class, fought a big battle against the world champion, but it was not enough for the Indian to overtake the Uzbek boxer as he suffered a narrow 3-2 defeat suffered with 29-28, 28-29 28-29, 28-29, 30-27 leaderboard. Another Indian pugilis, Shiva Thapa (64kg), also suffered a close 2-3 defeat with Asian Games silver medalist Baatarsukh Chinzorig. The world championship bronze medalist of Assam is the only second male boxer in the world to have won five medals at the Asian Championships. The 19-member Indian contingent finishes with an unprecedented 15 medals and ensures the country’s best performance ever – surpassing the previous best of 13 medals (two gold, four silver and seven bronze) achieved during the 2019 edition in Bangkok. Both boxers showed good skills earlier in the clash with a top volume of 52 kg between the top two seeds and attacked from the start. The second round took the defending champion, Panghal, time as he was more accurate, struck timed blows with more power and was also sharp in defense. However, Shakhobidin fought back well in time and managed to tip the game in his favor.

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Later Sanjeet (91 kg) played their respective finals. Vikas Krishan (69 kg) and Varinder Singh (60 kg) secured their bronze medals in the men’s division with their semi-finals.

Women’s tow

In the women’s division on Sunday, Pooja Rani (75 kg) won her second consecutive gold medal while the experienced fighter Mary Kom (51 kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64 kg) and Anupama (+ 81 kg) won silver medals. Simranjit Kaur (60 kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69 kg), Jaismine (57 kg), Sakshi Chaudhary (54 kg), Monika (48 kg) and Saweety (81 kg) secured bronze when all the boxers from India’s women’s team ten members returned with medals at the championships, hosted jointly by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation.