Indian boxers Amit Panghal (49 kg), Shiva Thapa (60 kg), Vikas Krishan (75 kg) and Sumit Sangwan (91 kg) qualified for the World Championships when they advanced to the Semi-finals of the Asian Championships currently going on in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
It was a great day for Indian boxing as India’s hopes at the World Championships was taken to new heights. The series of victories started with Sumit Sangwan defeating China’s Fengkai Yu. The match looked one-sided for the most part and Sangwan dominated with his long reach and agility. The final score showed 4-1 in favor of Sangwan. He will next face Tajikistan’s star boxer Jakhon Qurbonov in the semifinals. Qurbonov had knocked out Pakistan’s Mehmood Sanaullah in the quarters earlier.
Shiva Thapa booked his place in the semis by emerging victorious against Chinese Taipei’s Chu-En Lai. Thapa will now face an uphill task in the semis when he takes on the top seed, Mongolian boxer Chinzorig Baatarsukh. Thapa has seen himself on the Asian Championship podium twice before when he secured gold in 2013 and a bronze in 2015.
Top seed Vikas Krishan knocked out Indonesia’s Brama Hendra Betaubun to advance to the semis. He has previously secured a silver in the 2015 edition and looks well on his way to the top this year. He will now face Korea’s Dongyun Lee in the semis. Vikas is sponsored by the JSW sports organization and was warmly greeted on his victory.
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Amit Panghal won his bout against the fourth seed Cornelis Kwangu Langu of Indonesia 4-1. Amit employed a more defensive approach towards the Indonesian who was aggressive right from the beginning. He has the toughest task ahead of him as compared to his compatriots. He will face the Olympic gold medallist Uzbek boxer Hasanboy Dusmatov on his way to the final.
However, it was not all happy for India. Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg), who opened the proceedings for India in the morning session lost to second-seeded Chinese boxer Jiawei Zhang 2-3. In an equally fought battle, the Chinese emerged on top with his clean punches. Although, Bidhuri can still claim a place in the August-September World Championships, to be held in Germany, if he beats Japan’s Ryomei Tanaka in the box-off.