Indian boxer Amit Panghal scripted history by becoming the first Indian male boxer to reach the finals at World Boxing Championships in Ekaterinburg, Russia. Panghal defeated Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov in the semifinal of the flyweight (48kg-52kg) division.
The 2018 Asian Games gold medalist won the semifinal by 3-2. He took on Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov on September 21, ending up with a silver medal.
Panghal’s rise in the world of boxing has been nothing short of a spectacle ever since he won bronze in the 2017 Asian Championships in the 49 kg category.
He was a quarter-finalist at the world championship on debut in the same year and later won consecutive gold medals at the prestigious Strandja Memorial in Bulgaria, before becoming the Asian Games champion in 2018.
Another Indian boxer, Manish Kaushik, settled for bronze. Kaushik lost his 63 kg category semifinal 0-5 to reigning world champion Andy Cruz Gomez of Cuba. Kaushik joined the likes of Gaurav Bidhuri (2017), Shiva Thapa (2015), Vikas Krishan (2011), and Vijender Singh (2009). all of who had won World Championships bronze for India before.
India has never won more than one bronze in a single edition of the world championships. However, this year, both Panghal and Kaushik have changed it by entering the semifinals.
Both Panghal and Kaushik have already booked berths for the next year’s first Olympic qualifier in China. The Boxing Federation of India earlier announced that boxers who will win at the Worlds will be picked for the qualifiers.