Indian boxer Amit Panghal (52kg) picked up his second successive gold medal of the year, claiming the top honours in the Asian Championships here on Friday (April 26).
Panghal, who won the Asian Games gold medal last year, defeated Korea’s Kim Inkyu Korea in a unanimous decision. He came into the tournament on the back of a gold at the Strandja Memorial Tournament in February.
This was his maiden international competition since moving up to 52kg from 49kg earlier this year.
However, national champion Deepak Singh (49kg) had to settle for a silver after going down in a split verdict to Nodirjon Mirzahmedov of Uzbekistan. India have challenged the verdict under the Bout Review System and a decision is awaited on it.
Up against a lanky opponent, who was willing to play the waiting game, Panghal started in his usual aggressive style. The strategy of stumping rivals with relentless attacks paid off against Inkyu and the Korean simply had no answer to Panghal’s aggression.
The Indian managed to corner his rival quite often and his solid defences thwarted the feeble attempts at connecting by Inkyu.
Earlier, Deepak put up a gutsy performance that failed to find favor with the judges. It was a bout in which both the boxers were mostly looking to counter-attack. Deepak’s focus was getting his straight punches across, while Mirzahmedov looked to connect right hooks occasionally.
The Indian was a clear winner in the opening round but Mirzahmedov came back strongly in the second. The Uzbek turned a shade defensive in the last three minutes, which gave Deepak a chance to assert himself. However, the final outcome was in favor of the Uzbek, much to the surprise of the Indian camp which immediately sought a review of the decision.
The tournament has a Bout Review Process in place for any contentious decisions. Teams have been handed yellow cards at the beginning of their respective bouts. Coaches get a minute after the fight to appeal against a decision.
A slow motion footage of the bout is used for reviews by an observer to decide the merits of the appeal. In case the decision does not favor the team concerned, the national federation has to pay $1,000 as penalty.