Asian Games gold medallist Amit Panghal created history on Friday by becoming the first Indian to reach the final of the AIBA Men’s World Boxing Championships in the 52kg category.
Manish Kaushik, on the other hand, had to settle for a bronze after losing his 63kg semi-final bout to Cuba’s Andy Cruz Gomez.
The duo’s medal-winning performances will give them a major boost ahead of the Olympic qualifiers, which are scheduled for February 2020 in China.
India’s very own
Panghal started India’s day on a high by defeating Kazakhstan's Saken Bibossinov by split decision (3-2). Taking his time to settle, the Indian was at the receiving end of a couple of heavy blows early in the contest before he began to find his range. .
Midway through the second round, the Indian pugilist was in complete control, making the bout an utterly one-sided affair. He waited for Bibossinov to attack and landed a few fine left jabs.
In order to gather late points, the Kazakh went all out. Scooping on to the advantage, Panghal delivered severe counter-attacking blows to register a fine win. Panghal, who turns 24 in October, will take on Uzbekistan's Shakhobidin Zoirov - the reigning Olympic champion - in the final on Saturday.
Following his winning performance, many took to social media to praise the boxer’s efforts, including Beijing 2008 bronze medallist Vijender Singh.
Panghal’s triumph was later followed by Manish Kaushik becoming only the sixth Indian to finish with a medal at the Worlds. Up against Gomez, the 23-year-old bowed out on the back unanimous decision (5-0).
The calculated Cuban was extremely selective with his punches and only allowing Kaushik to land a few punches - mainly to the body - in return.