Amit Panghal scripted history as he became the 1st Indian professional boxer to enter the finals of the World Men’s Boxing Championship. Panghal got the better of Saken Binossinov in the semi-final 3-2.
“The bout went very well for me although I had to put in more effort than I had thought. It is a huge achievement for Indian boxing and I am thankful for all the support that I have got,” Panghal said after the win.
On Saturday, Panghal will face Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov, who is the reigning Olympic champion. Zoirov outsmarted Frenchman Billal Bennama in his semifinal showdown.
Earlier, India had never won more than 1 bronze medal in a single edition of the world championships but Panghal changed the past by making the semifinals.
The previous Indian medal-winners at the world meet are Vijender Singh (2009), Vikas Krishan (2011), Shiva Thapa (2015) and Gaurav Bidhuri (2017)
“I am going to push hard for a gold,” said confident Panghal.
Panghal had earlier bagged a 49kg category bronze in the 2017 Asian Championships.
He was also a quarterfinalist at the world championship on debut in the same year and went on to win consecutive gold medals at the iconic Strandja Memorial in Bulgaria, before becoming the Asian Games champion in the year 2018.
In 2019, he already has the Asian Championships gold to his name after moving to the 52kg category after the dropping of 49kg from the Olympic roster to accommodate more women’s divisions in the 2020 Tokyo Games.