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Amit Panghal loses Worlds final, becomes first Indian male boxer to win silver

Amit Panghal has won a silver worth its weight in gold even after losing the World Boxing Championship final to Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov, the reigning Olympic champion.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: September 22, 2019 4:55:00 am
Amit Panghal lost the Boxing Worlds final on Saturday (File Photo)

Amit Panghal, who created history on Friday by becoming the first male Indian boxer to qualify for a World Boxing Championship final, lost the final to Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov, the reigning Olympic champion, by a unanimous decision from the judges in Russia on Saturday.

Panghal won the silver medal, becoming the first Indian male boxer ever to do so. He competed in the 52kg flyweight category.

Panghal lost 0-5 but the scoreline was hardly a reflection of the fight he put on against the more fancied Zoirov, the reigning Olympic champion.

The five judges – from Hungary, Turkey, Argentina, Romania and Ireland – scored it 30-27 30-27 29-28 29-28 -29-28 in Zoirov’s favour.

WBC Final: Amit Panghal vs Shakhobidin Zoirov Highlights: Indian boxer loses final, settles for historic silver

With Panghal’s silver, this is India’s best-ever medal haul, with one silver and one bronze. Manish Kaushik (63kg) had signed off with a bronze earlier, after losing in the semifinal.

Up against a taller and more muscular opponent, Panghal gave it his all but fell short when it came to connecting accurately. The Asian Games and Asian Championships gold-medallist nonetheless achieved a historic feat.

The silver here marks a new high for the boxer from Rohtak, who has been simply unstoppable since breaking into the national scene with a bronze in the 2017 Asian Championships.

Zoirov, despite being unseeded here, was always going to be a tough challenge as he also has to his credit silver medals in the Asian Games and the Asian Championships.

Before this year, India had never won more than one bronze medal at a single edition of the World Championships.

(With PTI inputs)

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