Boxing: Amit Panghal, Manish Kaushik punch big time

Ekaterinburg (Russia): India were assured of an unprecedented two medals at the World Men’s Boxing Championships after Amit Panghal (52kg) and Manish Kaushik (63kg) entered the semifinals of the marquee event with impressive victories here on Wednesday.

While Asian Games and championship gold-medallist Panghal defeated Filipino Carlo Paalam 4-1, Commonwealth Games silver-medallist Kaushik got the better of Brazil’s Wanderson de Oliveira 5-0.

Both the boxers sealed their maiden world medals. However, Sanjeet (91kg), a former India Open gold-medallist, lost 1-4 to Ecuador’s seventh-seeded Julio Castillo Torres in his semifinal bout. Torres is a Pan-American Games silver-medallist.

Before this year, India had never won more than one bronze medal in a single edition of the world championship. The overall medal count for the country stood at four bronze medals claimed by Vijender Singh (2009), Vikas Krishan (2011), Shiva Thapa (2015) and Gaurav Bidhuri (2017).

The second-seeded Panghal, who had earlier defeated Paalam in the Asian Games semifinals last year, wasn’t off to the best of starts and was trailing Paalam at the end of the opening round. But the Armyman from Rohtak didn’t take long to get his act together and become the more aggressive one in the next two rounds.

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