A test of preparations: Indian boxers eye strong show at Asian Championships

The Asian Championships, which get underway in Dubai on Monday, will be a crucial test of preparations for India’s Olympic-bound boxers.

Amit Panghal will seek to defend his 52kg crown.

The star-studded Indian contingent, including six-time World champion M.C. Mary Kom and World championships medallists Lovlina Borgohain, Amit Panghal, Vikas Krishan and Shiva Thapa, will look to make an impact in the Asian boxing championships starting here on Monday.

The event assumes significance as it gives the boxers a fine platform to ply their trade in the run-up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

As per the draws of different weight categories on Sunday, Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Mohammad Hussamuddin (56kg) is set to begin the proceedings for India on the opening day of the event carrying a prize money of $4,000,000.

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Thapa (64kg) and Sumit Sangwan (81kg) will also begin their campaign on day one.

Defending champion Panghal (52kg), who received a bye in the first round, is among the six Indian men (also including Vikas) who will start their journey from the quarterfinals. He is expected to meet Mongolia’s Enkhmanadakh Kharkhuu. The two last met at the Olympic qualifiers in Jordan in a nail-biting contest where the Indian managed a win.

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Ashish Kumar (75kg), who also received a first round bye, is expected to be challenged by the World championships silver medallist Kazakhstan’s Abilkhan Amankul.

In +91kg category, Narender will be up against another Kazak boxer and two-time World championships silver medallist Kamshibek Kunkabayev in the first round.

Seven women boxers including Mary (51kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Monika (48kg), Saweety (81kg) and Anupama (+81kg) will begin their campaign from the semifinal stage.

Indian Squads

Men: Amit Panghal (52kg), Mohammad Hussamuddin (56kg), Varinder Singh (60kg), Shiva Thapa (64kg), Vikas Krishan (69kg), Ashish Kumar (75kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg), Sanjeet (91kg) and Narender (+91kg).

Women: Monika (48kg), M. C. Mary Kom (51kg), Sakshi (54kg), Jasmine (57kg), Simranjeet Kaur (60kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Saweety (81kg) and Anupama (+81kg).

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