Boxing: India is assured of 15 medals, Amit, Vikas and Varinder in semis

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.

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