Asian Championships bronze medallist Amit Phangal (49kg) and Gaurav Bidhuri (56kg) on Sunday kept Indian hopes of a medal alive as they defeated their respective opponents to reach the quarterfinals of World Boxing Championships taking place in Hamburg. However, former bronze medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg) was knocked out in the second round of the tournament to England’s Benjamin Whittaker.
Amit beat Ecuador’s Carlos Quipo, seeded seventh, while Gaurav outclassed Ukrainian Mykola Butsenko in their pre-quarterfinal bouts. Amit will now be facing a tough bout against second seed Uzbek Hasanboy Dusmatov while Gaurav will fight against Bilel Mhamdi of Tunesia in the quarterfinals.
The 21-year old Amit frustrated Quipo with counter-attacks as his opponent got several warnings during the bout to keep his head up. Amit proved to be the better player of the two with his dominance. Meanwhile, the boxer from Delhi – Gaurav, who entered the tournament with a wildcard after missing out on automatic qualification, attacked his opponent till the judges favoured split decision in favour of the Indian.
Along with Vikas, Asian silver-medallist Sumit Sangwan (91kg) also had a shock exit after losing to Jason Whateley of Australia in a split decision.
India coach Santiago Nieva told PTI, “Both Amit and Gaurav gave big-hearted performances. The key was not to let opponents settle and they made sure that this plan was executed to perfection.”