Gaurav Bidhuri became only the fourth boxer from India to win a medal at the Boxing World Championships when he beat Bilel Mhamdi in the 56kg quarterfinals in Hamburg on Tuesday. The wins assures Bhiduri of a bronze medal medal and join an elite company of India’s medallist at World Championships. Bhiduri will face USA’s Duke Ragan on August 31.
Only three other boxers have won medal at the World Championships in the past. Vijender Singh, Shiva Thapa and Vikas Krishan are the three other boxers to win a bronze medal at the tournament.
“It is unbelievable…I have been struggling with a severe back pain for the last 7-8 months,” an ecstatic Gaurav said after the match. “But nothing could stop me as I was determined to created history. Now I am closer to make that dream come true. I kept my mind controlled and focused on the match; I won first two rounds and then focused on maintaining the lead,” he added.
“My coaches and teammates have been really helpful, they have seen the pain I am going through and have helped me in every step. I want to dedicate this victory to my dad,” he added.
This was Bhiduri’s debut World Championships and he entered the event as a wild card. After losing in the quarter-finals of Asian Championships quarterfinal, Bhiduri lost a box-off for a spot to Hamburg before the Asian Boxing Confederation (ASBC) handed him a wildcard that was originally meant for Bhutan.
The Indian boxer has had an impressive run in this tournament, beating Ukraine’s Mykola Butsenko, a two-time European Championships’ silver-medallist and 2013 World Championships bronze medallist in his pre-quarterfinal bout. Another Indian boxer Amit Panghal, who had impressed everyone in this tournament, had to suffer a 0-5 loss to Olympic champion and second seed Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan.