India’s ace pugilist Amit Panghal (52kg) edged past familiar foe and Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov, assuring themselves of medals at the Asian Boxing Championships on Monday. In the women’s draw, world silver-medallist Sonia Chahal (57kg) advanced to the last-four stage at the continental showpiece. Panghal, who claimed a bronze in the 2015 edition of the event, also secured a hard-fought 3-2 triumph over Dusmatov, the former world champion Uzbek he defeated to claim the Asian Games gold just a few months ago.
Before that, the two boxers had also clashed in the world championship quarters where Dusmatov had emerged triumphant. Sonia too fetched a similarly close victory over Korea’s Jo Son Hwa. Also making the semis was national champion Deepak Singh (49kg), who did not have to step inside the ring to fight for the spot after Afghanistan’s Ramish Rahmani gave him a walkover owing to injury.
However, world championship bronze-medallist Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) bowed out of contention after a quarterfinal loss to reigning world champion Chen Nien-Chin of Taiwan.
Sonia also endured an exhausting bout against Hwa but came out trumps. The fast-rising boxer from Haryana struck some clean jabs in her thrilling win. In the evening session, Panghal and Dusmatov had the crowd on its feet with an engrossing showdown. The Armyman from India dominated the opening round with powerful uppercuts and jabs.
Dusmatov came back strongly and was quite impressive in the second round but the resolute effort was not enough to find favour with the judges.
However, it was deja vu for Borgohain. She was up against a rival, who defeated her just months ago in the world semifinals. The stage was different but the result was the same as Chen dominated the bout from start to finish for a 5-0 triumph.
In another women’s bout, Seema Poonia (+81kg) lost to China’s Yang Xiaoli 5-0, ending another disappointing international outing for her. Poonia had got a bye into the quarters.
In the last Indian bout of the day, Rohit Tokas (64kg) fought hard but could not avert a 2-3 loss to Mongolia’s Chinzorig Baatarsukh in the quarterfinals.
(With PTI Inputs)