Defending champion Amit Pangal (52kg) had to settle for a silver medal at this year’s Asian Boxing Championships after losing a grueling final to renowned nemesis Shahobidin Zoirov of Uzbekistan here on Monday.
The Indian lost 2-3 in a repeat of the final of the World Cup in 2019, which also ended with the victory of Zoirov.
The competition was justified by the excitement of both Olympic boxers, engaged in a quick exchange of blows from the first round.
Zoirov said the initial round.
But in the second round, Panghal raised his game with a level, avoiding Zoirov’s range with his pace and landing his left straight. Zoirov, on the other hand, was trying to connect.
The two came out completely in the third round, but it was Pangal who was more impressive with his body shots despite a wounded eye. He even had the judges’ verdict in his favor for the round, but that wasn’t enough to change the final score line.
With 15 medals, India surpassed its previous best show in this championship, achieved in 2019, when the country secured a total of 13 medals, including two gold.
On Monday, Puja Rani (75kg) was the lone female boxer hitting gold, while six-time world champion MC Mary Kom (51kg) and tournament debutants Lalbuatsaihi (64kg) and Anupama (81 +kg) finished with silver medals after closing losses in the finals.
Eight other Indians – Simrandjit Kaur (60 kg), Vikas Krishan (69 kg) and Lovlina Borgohain (69 kg) and Jaismin (57 kg), Sakshi Chaudhari (64 kg), Monica (48 kg), Saviti (81 kg) and Warinder Singh (60 kg)) – secured bronze medals after semi-final losses.