Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: Defending champion Amit Panghal survived a scare before overpowering Kharkhuu Enkhmandakh 3-2 in the 52kg quarter-finals at the Asian Boxing Championships in Dubai .
However in two other late last night bouts, Vikas Krishan and Varinder Singh recorded easy victories and assured two more medals to take tally to 15—country’s best-ever medal haul at the Asian Championships surpassing 13 medals of the 2019 edition.
In the 52kg last-8 fight Panghal and Enkhmandakh started the contest in a contrasting manner. While Indian made a cautious start, Mongolian boxer was aggressive from the word go.
Panghal quickly shifted gears as both the boxers saw exchanging some heavy blows in fast paced fierce battle. With some precise punches, the top seeded Panghal edged past the opponent in a tense bout
With this victory, Panghal confirmed his third successive Championships medal after gold in 2019 and bronze in 2017.
In the semis the Indian will face Kazakh Saken Bibossinov, whom he beat in the 2019 World Championships semi-finals.
Later Varinder Singh (60kg) smashed Samuel Dela Cruz of Philippines 5-0 in one-sided quarter-final and handed India its 14th medal at the event. He will take on t Iran’s Daniyal Shahbakhsh in the last-four stage.
World Championships bronze medallist Vikas Krishan defeated Iran’s Moslem Malamir 4-1 in 69kg category. The Indian is likely to face stiff challenge from top seed and defending Champion Bobo Usmon Baturov of Uzbekistan in the semi-finals.
Having secured medal in each category, 10 Indian women boxers including Six-time world champion MC Mary Kom (51kg), Simranjit (60kg), Sakshi (54kg), Jaismine (57kg), Lalbuatsaihi (64kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Pooja Rani (75kg), Monika (48kg), Saweety (81kg) and Anupama (+81kg) will play their respective semi-finals later.