On Friday, Deepak Bhoria, Mohammad Hussamudin, and Nishant Dev will face challenging opponents as they strive to secure top positions in the men’s boxing World Championships, and India hopes to surpass their previous best performance.
India’s prospects for the upcoming Asian Games and the Paris Olympics look promising as all three of their medals in boxing have been won in Olympic categories. Furthermore, the fact that the trio of boxers has already made history by being the first Indian semifinalists at the premier event for amateur boxers is a remarkable achievement. The Asian Games will be the first qualification event for the Paris Olympics, and India’s performance in the tournament looks encouraging.
Although the goal is clear, accomplishing it will not be easy. The trio of boxers face challenging opponents on their path to the finals. Deepak, competing in the 51kg category, will have to overcome Bilala Bennama, a two-time medallist at the World Championships, who is also the reigning European champion. Bennama will undoubtedly be motivated to improve on his two bronze medals and pose a formidable obstacle for Deepak.
Hussamuddin (57kg), on the other hand, will go up against Cuba’s Saidel Horta, who knocked out Worlds and Asian Championships silver medallist top seed Serik Temirzhanov of Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals. Nishant (71kg) will face 2022 Asian Champion and 2018 Asian Games silver medallist Aslanbek Shymbergenov of Kazakhstan.
Deepak’s upcoming match presents him with an opportunity to match or exceed the achievement of the former world number one boxer, Panghal, who has been India’s top choice in the 51kg category for some time. Deepak’s first significant medal came in 2019 at the Asian Championships, where he won a silver medal. He also finished as a runner-up at the highly-regarded Strandja Memorial tournament in 2021, demonstrating his potential to succeed at the highest level of competition.
After winning the 2021 and 2023 Nationals, Deepak was chosen over Panghal for this event according to the new selection criteria. This decision has proven to be a wise one, as Deepak has impressed with his lethal left hook and produced one of the biggest upsets of the tournament by defeating Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist Saken Bibossinov of Kazakhstan. The 25-year-old’s success is a testament to the confidence shown in him by the new High Performance Director Bernard Dunne and coach Dmitry Dmitruk.
On the other hand, Hussamudin from Nizamabad has had to wait patiently for this opportunity to compete at the Worlds. However, the 29-year-old’s debut campaign has been fruitful, as he has won a medal. Hussamudin, a two-time Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, is one of the most experienced boxers in the Indian squad. He will be looking to leverage his experience in his matchup against Horta, another debutant in the tournament.