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

Amit Panghal and Kavinder Singh Bisht’s defeated Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov and World champion Kairat Yeraliyev, respectively, to book semifinal berths at the Asian championships.

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

Indian boxers beating a reigning Olympic champion and World champion on the same day at an elite event is rare.

Following Amit Panghal (52kg) and Kavinder Singh Bisht’s (56kg) upset wins over Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov and World champion Kairat Yeraliyev, respectively, to book semifinal berths at the Asian championships in Bangkok on Monday, India's chief performance director Santiago Nieva said, “We made a little bit of history today.”

Panghal had beaten the same opponent in the 49kg final of the Asian Games, but he deserved words of praise for causing a big upset after switching to 52kg.

READ | Kavinder Bisht stuns world champ Yeraliyev to enter Asian C’ship semis

Staying fresh for the Uzbek, who had defeated Panghal in the last World championships quarterfinals, was the biggest challenge for the diminutive Indian.

“He proved that his previous win over Dusmatov was not a fluke. He also proved that he can be successful in 52kg. He fought brilliantly, may be better than his performance in the Asian Games,” Nieva told Sportstar.

Amit Panghal (blue) beat Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov (red) in the 52kg quarterfinal at the Asian boxing championships,   -  AP

 

Nieva was also impressed with Panghal’s stamina and the way he defused Dusmatov’s ploy of holding in close range.

Chief coach C.A. Kuttappa pointed out that Panghal bounced back brilliantly. “Amit was not at his best in his first bout. However, he was determined against Dusmatov. He executed the plan well.”

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About Bisht’s victory, Nieva said the Indian controlled the bout well. “It was a very close bout. Kavinder tried to close the distance nicely. When Kairat was moving out, he landed the punches. Kavinder controlled him at the centre of the ring as well as at the ropes.”

Kuttappa said Kavinder enjoyed an upper hand because of his approach. “Kavinder’s attacking game, which had a combination of four-five punches, enabled him to deliver more blows than his opponent,” said Kuttappa.