Asian Boxing Oly q’fiers: Panghal one win away from qualification
Amman (Jordan), March 7 (IANS): World Championships silver medallist and top seed Amit Panghal (52kg) moved into the quarter-final of the boxing Asian Olympic qualifiers with a narrow 3-2 win over Mongolia’s Enkhmandakh Kharkhuu in Amman on Saturday.
Panghal will now face 2019 Southeast Asian Games gold medallist Carlo Paalam of Philipinnes. One more win would be enough for the 24-year-old to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Meanwhile, Gaurav Solanki (57 kg) lost his pre-quarter final to the reigning world champion Mirazizbek Mirzakhalilov of Uzbekistan by a 4-1 split decision.
Panghal had previously faced Kharkuu at the World Military Games in October 2019 where he ended up losing 5-0.
On Saturday, he held the upper hand in the first round as he constantly moved around the ring and made it difficult for his opponent to land his punches on target. This was reflected in the score at the end of the round in which the judges ruled in his favour by majority.
Kharkhuu however started stifling Panghal for space in the second round and started landing punches from close in. Panghal’s movements also seemed to have taken a toll on him as he started tiring out towards the end of the second round which the judges eventually ruled in Kharkuu’s favour by split decision.
Panghal looked completely out of gas in the third but managed to keep his guard up while landing accurate punches. In the end the judges deemed that enough to let him through to the quarter-finals. The final score was 30-27, 29-28, 28-29, 28-29, 29-28 in Panghal’s favour.
“I played according to the strategy the coaches had chalked out. I tried to score well in the first round, which was the main aim. Glad to have got the win. I have played and beaten my next opponent twice. I would look to get a win again and get an Olympic quota for my country,” said Panghal after the victory.
Solanki more than held his own in the bout against Mirzakhalilov, even winning the second round 4-1 but the latter’s experience and ability was too much for the 23-year-old to handle in the third.