India’s Asian champion Amit Panghal (52kg category) on Friday became the first Indian boxer to enter the World Men’s Boxing Championship final. Manish Kaushik (63kg category) signed off with a bronze medal after going down in the semifinals to Cuban boxer Andy Gomez Cruz.
The second-seeded Panghal defeated Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov in the semi-final by 3-2. On the other hand, Commonwealth Games silver medallist Kaushik went down to top-seeded Cruz losing the match by 0-5. Kaushik’s opponent is a the reigning champion.
“The bout went very well for me although I had to put in more effort than I had thought. It is a huge achievement for Indian boxing and I am thankful for all the support that I have got,” Panghal said after the triumph.
Panghal will go up against Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov, the reigning Olympic champion for the gold medal. Zoirov reached the final y beating Frenchman Billal Bennama.
“I gave it my all but I guess there are a few things lacking in my game, which I will try to improve on. I will work harder and deliver better results in the coming tournaments,” Kaushik said after losing in the semi-final.
Panghal and Kaushik created history by ensuring India of more than one bronze medal in a single edition of World Championships.
The past medal-winners for India at the World Boxing Championships are Vijender Singh (2009), Vikas Krishan (2011), Shiva Thapa (2015) and Gaurav Bidhuri (2017).