Yekaterinburg (Russia ), Sep 20: Star Indian pugilist Amit Panghal scripted history by becoming the first Indian male boxer to reach the finals of AIBA World Boxing Championships, here on Friday.
The 2018 Asian Games gold medallist Panghal has now assured himself of at least a silver medal after defeating Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov in a closely fought semi-final bout of the 52 kg Flyweight category.
Amit Panghal took his time in the first round before landing some crucial punches. However soon, he landed some fine left jabs. In the second round, Panghal started dominating and put pressure on his Kazak opponent Bibossinov.
While Bibossinov fought back in the third round, Panghal kept his cool and prevailed 3-2 in the exhausting bout.
He will now take on Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov on Saturday. Zoirov defeated Frenchman Billal Bennama in his semifinal showdown.
With this win, Phangal has now surpassed World Championships bronze medalists, likes of Vijender Singh (2009), Vikas Krishan (2011), Shiva Thapa (2015) and Gaurav Bidhuri (2017) after becoming the first Indian male boxer to breach the semi-final barrier.
In recent times, Panghal has been one of India's most consistent boxers. Ever since Panghal went on to win the bronze at Asian Championships in 2017, the 23-year-old has been on the rise.
Panghal won the Asian Games gold medal in 2018, months after winning the silver medal in Commonwealth Games. He had also won a gold at the Asian Championships in April 2019.
In another contest, Manish Kaushik, the other Indian boxer went down 0-5 in the semi-final against top seeded Andy Gomez Cruz of Cuba to settle for a bronze medal in the 63 kg category.
Both Amit and Manish helped India create history at the ongoing World Championships when they had reached the semi-final as India had not won more than a single bronze medal at a single edition of the world meet.
India now have a total of six medals, out of which five are bronze. All eyes, will be on Amit Panghal who will try to win India’s maiden yellow metal at the Championships. (UNI)