Why Amit Panghal carries a lot of expectations for Tokyo Olympics

Currently world No. 1, the Indian boxer is known for his foot movement. His short frame could give an advantage for uppercuts and executing sharp angular punches.

NEW DELHI: Twenty-eight pugilists will fly punches for 4 flyweight medals at the Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Tokyo. Indian boxing sensation Amit Panghal carries lots of hopes in the 52 kg division. Let’s have a look at his preparations for the most important medal of his career.

Amit became a household name when he returned with a gold medal from Jakarta Asian Games 2018. What’s more significant about the performance was his summit win over reigning Olympic Champion Hasanboy Dusmatov from Uzbekistan. Hasanboy could have been his biggest threat. Armyman from Rohtak tested defeat from him in QF of the 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships. Thankfully, Hasanboy is now a professional boxer and he is not participating in the Olympics.

Well, Shakhobidin Zoirov could be the biggest hurdle for the Indian. Reigning Olympic Champion and World Champion is currently World number two. Getting past the Uzbeki boxer will be the herculean task for the Indian. In their last meeting in the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championship in Yekaterinburg (Russia), Amit learned a cruel boxing lesson. He lost 5-0 to Zoirov in the final.

Billal Bennama of France lost to Zoirov in the SF of World Boxing Championship in 2019. Boxer from France could give a tough time to Amit. Indian won quite comfortably in their last meeting. The 25-year-old Indian defeated the Frenchman 5-0 in the Semi-Final of World Boxing 2020 at Cologne.

Saken Bilosinov of Kazakhstan lost to Amit in an intense battle in the same tournament in SF. Kazak pugilist is participating in Tokyo. Daniel Panev Asenov is another sensation. The double European champion cannot be taken lightly. Bulgarian is number 3 in the world in the last updated rankings of Boxing. Hu Jianguan of China clinched Bronze in Rio 2016. His most significant win was over southpaw Cuban Yasveni Veltia. Hu must be looking to upgrade his medal in Tokyo.

Mohd Flissi (Algeria) is a veteran. He must be looking to finish his career at a high. Gabriel Escobar (ESP) and Brandan Ervine (Ireland) will do everything to prove that they are not making up the numbers.

Amit is currently world number 1. He qualified after he defeated Carlo Paalam who is part of the Philippines squad at Tokyo.

The diminutive Indian is known for his foot movement. His short frame could give an advantage for uppercuts and executing sharp angular punches. Now, Amit is connecting well with flawless technique. With time, the rising star has matured in defending. Undoubtedly, he is the biggest Indian hope. He is a big fan of Indian movie star Dharmendra. His wish after the gold at Jakarta was to meet his matinee idol. It was fulfilled with a warm heart from the cine-star.

The road to glory is very tough for the Haryana boxer at the Japanese capital. Gold is all we need.