World Championship silver medallist Amit Panghal lived up to his reputation as he defeated Kharkhuu Enkhmandakh 3-2 in the 52kg quarter-finals at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai on Wednesday.
Both the boxers started the contest in a contrasting manner.
While Indian made a cautious start, Mongolian was aggressive from the word go. However, despite making defensive start, Panghal quickly shifted gears as both the boxers saw exchanging some heavy blows in fast paced fierce battle. With some timely and precise punches, the top seeded Panghal edged past the opponent. His tactical brilliance put himself ahead of Enkhmandakh and tilted the verdict in his favour in a closely-fought game.
With this victory, the defending champion Panghal progressed into semi-finals and confirmed 13th medal for the country at the ongoing championships and also his third successive Asian Championships medal after gold in 2019 and bronze in 2017. In the last-4 clash, Panghal is likely to meet Kazak boxer Saken Bibossinov, whom he beat in the 2019 World Championships semi-finals.
Later on the third day of the Championships, which is jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation, four more Indian pugilists, including Tokyo Olympic qualified Vikas Krishan (69kg) and Ashish Kumar (75kg), will fight in the quarter-final rounds.
Narender (+91) and Varinder Singh (60kg) are the other two boxers who will also be keen to make winning starts in tournament and confirm medals for the country.
Having secured medal in each category, 10 Indian women boxers including Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom (51kg), Simranjit (60kg), Sakshi (54kg), Jaismine (57kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Monika (48kg), Saweety (81kg) and Anupama (+81kg) will play their respective semi-finals on Thursday. The on-going Championships has been witnessing the presence of 150 boxers from 17 countries including strong boxing nations such as India, Uzbekistan, Philippines and Kazakhstan.