Mohammad Hussamuddin started India’s campaign on a winning streak during the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships, when he defeated Makhmud Sabyrkhan on the opening day of the Dubai Championships on Monday. The bronze medalist of the Commonwealth Games (56 kg) made a cautious start against the boxer in Kazakhstan. With a quick move and counter-attack, however, the Indian kept an advantage over his opponent and scored a 5-0 victory to advance to the quarterfinals. In the 81kg opening round late Monday night, Sumit Sangwan suffered a 5-0 defeat against Iranian boxer Meysam Gheshlaghi. Meanwhile, India’s Olympic men’s pugilists Amit Panghal, Vikas Krishan and Ashish Kumar will launch their campaign, as the trio, along with the country’s two other boxers, will battle it out in the quarter-finals on Wednesday.
World Championship silver medalist and defending champion Panghal will face a strong challenge from Kharkhuu Enkhmandakh in the 52kg match. When the duo met each other last year at the Asian Olympics in Amman, Jordan, the Mongolian boxer fought a hard battle before the Indian could succeed in winning. Asian Games champion Vikas Krishan will battle it out in 69kg against Muslim Malamir, Iran. Ashish Kumar (75 kg), who won a silver medal in the last edition of the match, and Narender (+ 91 kg) will also face powerful opponents from Kazakhstan. While Ashish will play the silver medalist of the World Championships and the Asian Games, Abilkhan Amankul, Narender will fight the two-time world champion silver medalist Kamshybek Kunkabayev, who is also aiming for his third consecutive medal at the Asian Championships. The championships, which are a return from international boxing in Asia to the Covid-19 pandemic, will put nearly 150 pugilists from 17 countries in India, Uzbekistan, the Philippines and Kazakhstan into action. India’s best show ever at the Asian Championships was in Bangkok in the last edition in 2019, where they won an unprecedented 13 medals, including two gold.