Panghal shows he belongs to highest level with World Championships silver

India's Amit Panghal lost the gold medal bout in the World Championships but experts of the sport feel there is more to come from the young pugilist.

Amit Panghal went down fighting in the final of the World Championships.   -  PTI

A measured smile, a punch in the air and a customary salute after winning a bout complete the signature celebration of Amit Panghal.

One missed it after the 52kg final bout of the World boxing championships in Ekaterinburg on Saturday, but could still witness the amazing composure of Panghal, who settled for a silver medal after losing to Uzbek Shakhobidin Zoirov.

READ | Amit Panghal bags silver in boxing world championships

Panghal’s restrained approach, which reflects 23-year-old’s level-headedness, has enabled him to make history, according to experts of the sport while rejoicing India’s unprecedented performance in the elite event.

“I have never seen Amit getting very aggressive or too lethargic. He is never excited after winning a bout. In a sport like boxing, where the story can change in just one blow, being in control of one’s mind is very important. Amit controls himself very well,” World Cup medallist and selection committee member V. Devarajan told Sportstar.

“His humility and good game will take him far. He is one of the prospects of a gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics. Only, we should not put pressure on him.”

National head coach C.A. Kuttappa also endorsed Panghal’s equanimity. “He has always been a controlled fighter. He is always confident. We don’t want to change his attitude.

“He played his own game in this World championships. We just coordinated with him and kept him on track whenever we felt he needed some help. For example, in the semifinals, Amit was losing in the first round as he was waiting for the opponent to attack. We asked him to play his natural game of hit-and-run and he did well in the last two rounds.”

According to Kuttappa, Panghal would have to work on the tactical aspect and strength for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

High performance director Santiago Nieva also showered praise on Panghal. “Amit has been performing consistently well in top events. Here, he was exceptional and confirmed that he belonged to the high level. Today he could not play his game, but with some improvement he can be a contender for a gold medal (in the Olympics),” said Nieva.

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