Asian Boxing Championships: Amit Phangal, Kavinder, Simranjit storm into finals

Amil Panghal, Kavinder Singh Bisht, Deepak Singh, Ashish Kumar, Pooja Rani and Simranjit Kaur book their spot in the final of the Asian Boxing Championships on Thursday.

Amit Panghal and Kavinder Bisht at the Asian boxing championships.   -  Special Arrangement

Amil Panghal is only one step away from winning the gold medal at the Asian Boxing Championships as he defeated Jianguan Hu 4-1 on Thursday to storm into the final.

Earlier in the day, Kavinder Singh Bisht (56kg) produced another lion-hearted performance to enter the finals along with three other Indians. Deepak Singh (49kg) and Ashish Kumar (75kg) joined Bisht in the men’s finals, while Pooja Rani (75kg) advanced in the women’s draw in the early session of the marquee event’s last-four stage.

Simranjit Kaur (64 kg) also stormed into in the final with a unanimous 5-0 win in a late evening session. 

Settling for bronze medals were veteran L Sarita Devi (60kg) and last edition’s silver-medallist Manisha (54kg). Former junior world champion Nikhat Zareen (51kg) and World Championship silver medallist Sonia Chahal (57kg) also settled for bronze after losing their respective semifinal bouts.

While Nikhat lost to Vietnam's Nguyen Thi Tam, Sonia went down to Thailand's Nilawan Techasuep.

It was a positive start to the day for India with national champion Deepak advancing to the final without exchanging a single blow after getting a walkover from Kazakhstan’s Temirtas Zhussupov due to injury. It was a second successive walkover to the Indian.

READ: Asian boxing C'ships: Panghal and Bisht's wins a bit of history, says Santiago Nieva

Next up was Bisht, who had upstaged reigning world champion Kairat Yeraliyev of Kazakhstan in his quarterfinal contest.

He was up against Mongolian Enkh-Amar Khakhuu and was aggression personified.

Willing to risk a few blows, the quick-moving Bisht stunned his rival by the sheer power of his punches and gave him a bloodied right eye in the second round.

The intensity was high in the final three minutes and Khakhuu inflicted a cut over Bisht’s right eye as well. However, that was not enough to deter Bisht, who edged out Khakhuu in a split verdict.

The boxer from Uttarakhand came into the tournament after a gold-winning show at the GeeBee Cup in Finland.

Another high-voltage bout followed with Ashish fighting it out against Iran’s Seyedshahin Mousavi.

The Indian was slow off the blocks against the sprightly Iranian, who clearly had the early momentum.

But Ashish raised the bar in the second and third rounds to counter Mousavi with some precisely-placed hooks and straights.

Among the women, Manisha lost to Taiwan’s Huang Hsiao-Wen, while Sarita (60kg) went down to China’s Yang Wenlu.

Pooja (75kg) was up against Kazakhstan’s Fariza Sholtay and emerged triumphant in a unanimous decision.