Tokyo: With the highest number of medals expected from the Indian contingent that will be competing in the Tokyo Olympics starting 23rd July, Amit Panghal leads the medal hopes for India in the 52-kilogram weight category. Currently ranked as the No.1 boxer, Panghal remains the first Indian to achieve this feat in this category in the Olympics. Having harnessed his skills under the watchful eyes of his elder brother Ajay Panghal, the 25-year-old considers him to be his best coach.
Born in a family of farmers in the Rohtak district of Haryana, Panghal’s choice of weight category was 48 kilograms but once the International Boxing Association (AIBA) decided to abolish this weight category, Panghal took to 52-kilogram in which he will be competing in the Tokyo Games.
Panghal’s name came to prominence after he won the National Boxing Championship in 2017, followed it up with a bronze medal in the 2017 Asian Amateur Boxing Championships in Tashkent in the same year and qualified for the 2017 AIBA World Boxing Championships that ended in a quarterfinal loss to Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan. The 25-year-old became a significant force to reckon with at the international stage when he became the first Indian boxer to win a silver medal at the 2019 AIBA World Boxing Championships.
Leading up to the Tokyo Games, Panghal showed his class by winning gold in Boxing World Cup 2020 held in Cologne, Germany and carried on his good form by winning the bronze medal in Governor’s cup 2021 at St. Petersburg, Russia in the 52-kilogram weight category.