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Amit Panghal Out-punches Olympic & Asian Champ to Win Boxing Gold

Asian Games 2018: Amit Panghal has won a gold medal in the 49kg category after beating the reigning Olympic champion

Updated
Asian Games
3 min read
Amit Panghal Out-punches Olympic & Asian Champ to Win Boxing Gold
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Snapshot
  • Amit Panghal beat reigning Olympic and Asian champion Hasanboy Dusmatov to bag gold in the 49kg category.
  • Amit won the final bout 3-2 for his first Asian Games medal.
  • India finish the 2018 Asian Games with two medals in boxing with Vikas Krishan bagging a bronze in the 75kg category.
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Twenty-two-year-old Indian boxer Amit Panghal has pulled off a massive upset to win India’s 14th gold medal of the ongoing Asian Games.

Facing Rio Olympics gold medallist Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan who had won all his bouts in the last week with a dominating 5-0 scoreline, Amit fought one of the best fights of his life to clinch his career’s biggest medal.

The final result was 3-2 in Amit’s favour who was making his Asian Games debut in Indonesia.

(For more results, updates and videos from the 2018 Asian Games, click here.)

Amit Panghal on the podium with his gold medal at the 2018 Asian Games.
(Photo: AP)
Amit was the lone Indian boxer to make the final in the ongoing Asian Games after Vikas Krishan was declared medically unfit and forced to pull out of his semi-final bout on Saturday due to an injury.

Amit showed immense tactical brilliance, especially in defence to outwit the Uzbek, who has an iconic status in international boxing; Dusmatov had won a silver in the world championship last year and was also the reigning Asian Champion apart from winning the gold in Rio. He had beaten Amit by a split verdict at the 2017 world championships.

I had lost to him before, so I had to take revenge. Coach Santiago (Nieva) and other coaches had prepared me well. In the semifinal, I did not play the first round well, here I did not repeat that mistake. The coach asked me to get him on counter-attack. The training in England and at the camp in India helped. I had sparred with southpaw boxers at both places. I knew how to take advantage of the upper cut.
Amit Panghal

In Indonesia though, the Haryana-boxer extracted sweet revenge for the narrow loss in Hamburg, keeping his range and striking some clean right hooks and jabs to his shorter and slightly edgy opponent.

The Uzbek southpaw, known for his brilliant counter-attacks, seemed wary of the constantly-on-the-move Indian, who refused to fall into the trap of diving in. The result was a frustrated Dusmatov being forced to lunge forward which worked perfectly well for the Indian in his counter-attacking game.

Today's win marks the highest point Amit's meteoric rise to the top, starting with an Asian Championships bronze last year. A world quarter-finalist, Amit claimed a silver in the 2018 Commonwealth Games this April. He had also won gold medals at the inaugural India Open and the prestigious Strandja memorial in Bulgaria earlier this year.

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Bronze For Vikas

Vijender Singh and Vikas Krishan were the last set of male gold-medallists for India at the Asian Games. They had won their yellow metal at the 2010 Guangzhou edition.

Vikas (75kg) settled for a bronze this time after being forced to pull out from the semifinals due to an eye injury. It was his third successive medal after the 2010 gold and 2014 bronze, making him the first boxer to achieve the feat.

In the 2014 Games, M C Mary Kom became the first and till now the only Indian woman boxer to fetch an Asian Games gold medal for India.

The first Indian boxer to claim an Asiad gold was Padam Bahadur Mall, who won back in 1962. The legendary Hawa Singh is the only Indian boxer with back-to-back gold medals in the Games, his top finishes coming in 1966 and 1970 in the heavyweight category.

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